Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel

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On April 23, 2010 Liberty University announced that Glenn Beck would deliver the Commencement speech for Liberty University’s Class of 2010. The graduation took place on Saturday, May 15. Beck’s speech can be viewed online at The Rightscoop.

Success came early for Beck when just before his speech, Liberty conferred an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree upon him. Beck then went on to speak to the more than 4,000 students present.

The result of the Commencement speech?

“Best commencement we’ve ever had,” said Jerry Falwell, Jr., Chancellor of Liberty University. It seems Beck and the Liberty officials were happy. It seems the graduating students were also pleased judging by the their reactions during the speech. Given Beck’s political leanings and entertainment value this is understandable. However, it wasn’t all smiles for everyone.

Some concerned Christians spoke up. A most interesting passing reply to these concerned Christians came from a Liberty official. On, April 23, the same day of the announcement, Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary responded via twitter.

Glenn Beck at the LU Graduation! Love it! And I’m loving the snarking of the haters. LU folk: rejoice when they revile!

Given the nature of the concern for Beck speaking at Liberty this reply does not make a lot of sense. Caner may have been referring to Matthew 5:11 or another part of Scripture. This would be even more troubling since Christians are to rejoice when persecuted for Christ’s sake. Given that Beck is a Mormon it should be difficult for any Christian to rejoice in such manner.

One example of concern comes from a Florida pastor who was part of this graduating class. He shared his feelings at – Point of View: Why Glenn Beck is wrong for Liberty University’s commencement. His first paragraph lays out the crux of the concern.

For those who may not be aware, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., which has consistently been known for its strong conservative and Christian values as a Baptist school, has invited political talk show host Glenn Beck to give the commencement speech to its graduates this week. On the surface that may not seem alarming to many since he is conservative. But given the fact he is a Mormon there ought to be red flags and sirens going off all across Christian circles.

Were this pastor’s concerns valid? After all, it was a Commencement speech given from a person who basically shares the same politically and socially conservative worldview as his audience. Non-Christians can speak truths in these areas. Can we agree on that? Even James White points this out about non-Christians speaking truth while addressing a different issue after the fact in Can Unbelievers Speak Truth?

Can an atheist speak truth? If he says “2+2=4″ is the statement less true than if a Christian said the same thing?

What is interesting about White’s post is that he is combating claims that information received from a Muslim can be true regardless of its source. In this case, the information from a Muslim is being used to analyze some of Ergun Caner’s teachings on Islam. If it is wrong for White to reference a Muslim to merely fact check, how can it then be acceptable for Liberty to use a Mormon to promote its agenda through a speech? However, fact checking versus partnering with a non-Christian who calls on the name of Jesus and His gospel, as will be shown below, are two very different things. Where is the outrage? But I digress.

Concerning Words

Are the concerns of the pastor quoted above, as well as that of other Christians, valid? On the surface the answer is an easy “yes” since Christians and Mormons don’t mix doctrinally. However, since this situation concerns Liberty University it is probably best to seek their own perspective on these issues.

The Message From the Chancellor states:

Liberty University is the largest and fastest growing Christian Evangelical university in the world. …vision to train young Champions for Christ. … Everything we do is designed to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.

From the LU Distinctives point 2:

A commitment to training visionary champions for Christ. Chapel and convocation speakers are leaders from the worlds of business, education, athletics, government, many professions and the Gospel ministry. These champions join hands with our faculty and chancellor in challenging Liberty students to become visionaries and to win the world for Christ from their vocational platforms.

And a final example, from their Mission:

To develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.

Liberty desires to develop Christ-centered graduates that can take the gospel into all walks of life. This is a great biblical, praiseworthy goal. Yet, a Mormon gave the Commencement speech for this year’s graduating class. A Commencement is when the students are conferred their degrees from the school. Although some may say it was only a Commencement speech, it may also be one of the last speeches those graduates hear as they are sent out into the world for Christ.

Did Beck say anything troubling or confusing? Jerry Falwell, Jr. introduced Beck by conferring the honorary doctorate due to Beck’s “tireless efforts to preserve the American ideal.” I would probably agree with this American ideal, yet how does this relate to Liberty’s Christ-centered vision?

Beck begins explaining:

I want you to know that I understand that the invitation to speak today is not meant as an endorsement of my faith. But I also want you to understand, that my agreeing to speak here today is an endorsement of your faith.

This is a very interesting statement. It lays the ground work for Beck to bridge a theological divide. He goes on to say that “we need to find the things that unite us…” He finds these commonalities by using biblical terms.

The Spirit is an amazing tool. Rely on God. Do your own work and ask Him, is this right? He will reveal the truth. … The Lord gave us these rights.

Beck references George Whitefield as an amazing man and explains how he reminds him of Moses. He then explains how he recently went to the Scriptures to read about Moses. While describing how he might have reacted if he were in Moses’ shoes he references himself as God’s child. At one point he exclaims:

Turn to God and live!

After pausing for applause, he goes on to repeat this statement. After challenging the students to make the most of their life he tells of a Scripture passage that changed his life, Ezekiel 33. He explains how the Lord must be our shield. Then come some troubling words.

Root ourself in the gospel. Put our feet in the gospel of peace, but be unmovable. Stand for liberty.

Minutes later Beck starts talking about the importance of the atonement. He states how powerful it is and how it will change your life. He moves back to Moses and his interaction with God repeating the “Look to God and live” line. Beck closes the speech reading a journal entry he wrote to his daughter. This consumes about the last 10 minutes of the speech with references to God and biblical truths.

Beck is entertaining, funny, serious and emotional. His final words are:

I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Blurring the Gospel

Intentional or not, this was a masterful move for Beck, a Mormon, to speak to Christians on their turf using biblical language. Beck issued the caveat at the beginning that he knew the Liberty crowd did not accept his faith, yet he went on to speak as if they did accept his faith. Brilliant for Beck, not so much for Liberty. Two different Jesus’ along with two different gospels were portrayed as one. And Christians wonder why the world is confused about the gospel?

The world sees a uniting around conservative “American ideals” couched in biblical language. Ironically, this approach to push for conservative values is similar to liberal Christianity’s push for liberal values through their agendas. There is little difference in blurring the gospel in liberal circles through movements like “social justice” compared to blurring it through various conservative agendas.

This is exactly how the gospel was blurred. Falwell gave Beck a platform based on Beck’s fight for American ideals. Beck went on to talk more about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the atonement, the gospel, etc. than he did about American ideals. He even called people to “turn to God and live.” Which god is Beck calling people to? The god of American idealism? Beck’s god of Mormonism? Beck assumed a common gospel from a common Lord which turns out to be no gospel at all.

It is disappointing the the world’s largest Evangelical Christian university had a Mormon come and speak about the gospel. Are accomplished Christian’s so few that none were available? Does Liberty really believe in the power of the gospel to change and influence lives? Or, is it more important to focus on and unite around social/political issues? Change laws, change lives? Change values, change lives? What happens if American society today collapses and our freedoms lost? Will the world have no hope until the freedoms are restored? Or will the gospel flourish under persecution as it did in times past and in other parts of the world today?

Liberty should have called Glenn Beck to repent and believe the good news rather than to represent and retrieve his views. Christians must regain the trust in the power of the gospel, not in its assumption. No matter the social/political circumstances the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the greatest hope of all.

Brief Comparison between Mormonism and Christianity

Mormonism

Christianity

God
More than one god. God the father is an exalted man who was as we are now and has a body of flesh and bones.

God
There is only one God who is spirit and eternal.

Trinity
The father, son and holy spirit are three gods separate and distinct from each other.

Trinity
One God Who exists in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus
Spirit brother of Lucifer, a literal off-spring of god the father.

Jesus
Eternal Son of God, second person of the Trinity.

Holy Spirit
A distinct god from father and son, a spirit man and a spirit son of God the Father.

Holy Spirit
The third eternal person of the Trinity.

Salvation
By presenting our best efforts and obedience to god’s commands and then by grace. Man can become a god.

Salvation
A free gift from God received by grace alone through faith alone and not by works.

(Glenn Beck photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Tags: , , ; Categories: Church Issues,Culture,Gospel,heresy
The above article was posted on June 10, 2010 by Mark Lamprecht.
© 2004-2014. All rights reserved.


{ 161 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Terry Rayburn June 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm

You know what’s weird to me, Mark?

What’s weird to me is that it’s even a matter for discussion (though I’m glad you’re discussing it).

When the very idea of a Mormon political teacher giving the Commencement Address (and getting an honorary doctorate) came up at some official meeting, someone in authority should have laughingly said, “Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Next idea?”, and that be the end of it.

But then for Jerry Jr. and that Prof. from Westminster Seminary to go on Beck’s TV show and discuss their Christian solidarity with Beck makes me sorta swoon like I was in some kind of Salvador Dali painting.

Forget the Emergents and Schullerists, these are the Fundamental guys!

I’m continually reminded of MacArthur’s great but sobering message to the 2007 National Day of Prayer on the “wrath of abandonment” of God.

A copy can be had for $.99 (!) at http://family.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=john+macarthur+national+day+of+prayer&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCN&nav_search=1&cms=1

2 Mark June 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Terry,

Do you feel like you’re in crazy land? :) It really is amazing that this is even an issue.

Thanks for the MacArthur sermon. This may be the same one from GTY’s site: A Nation Abandoned by God. The audio is included at the top for download.

3 Daniel Spratlin June 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Mark,

Great post and a very reasoned (and biblical) perspective on the topic. Like Terry said above, I can’t believe that this is even an issue at all. The LU leadership is asleep at the wheel and I can only hope and pray that they wake up.

I expect something like this from other schools. But from a historically conservative Christian university this is flabbergasting to say the least. If a Mormon is good enough for LU then why not a Muslim? A Buddhist? How about a staunch atheist? Does Liberty have a history of knowingly giving honorary degrees to non-Christians?

What’s even worse is the response from Ergun Caner, the President and Dean of LBTS. Instead of listening with humility to the voices of fellow believers he ridicules them and tells the campus community to “rejoice” that they are being persecuted. As if persecution is the measuring stick of rightness. Like you said, Mark, we’re to rejoice when we are reviled BY UNBELIEVERS for our Kingdom work but when a brother raises concerns about our actions we are to listen to them and take their words into careful consideration.

I’m reminded of the following Proverb that I struggle with even today:

Prov. 25:12 “Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.”

Bottom line is that wise people who are growing spiritually appreciate rebuke because it gives them a chance to draw closer to Christ.

4 Jamin Hubner June 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

The primary thing we learn from this situation is that liberty U. values conservative politics more than Christian theology. It’s that simple.
ja

5 Mark June 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Daniel,

I’m not sure if there is any history of Liberty doing similar things. My understanding is that they do have people from different walks of life speak during the year.

The whole ordeal just floors me. Good comments and thanks for the encouragement.

6 Doug June 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Celebrity rules over truth at Liberty..tragic..if any believers don’t see the big deal the deepen your study of mormonism and you will be horrified at what Beck’s meaning in the scriptures he quoted was.

7 Joshua June 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I cant believe it. Great article, but seriously especially amidst the Caner saga.

Oh and great tweet by Caner, is this guy for real?

8 Daniel Spratlin June 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Joshua,

Unfortunately, he is for real and endorsed by LU and many Christians.

9 Bereansearch June 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I personally contacted Dr. Elmer towns about this issue, since he was one of the founders of LU. This was his response:

“I received your email and praises for Dr. Jerry Falwell. Make sure that you are not inconsistent in what you are saying. On two occasions Dr. Falwell invited Mormons to speak at our convocation. Glenn Beck is the third one. You praise Dr. Falwell, yet you criticize Liberty. One of the persons that we invited years ago was the Secretary of the Interior who was a great supporter of Moral Majority. He was invited for his political conservative stand. However, later he did become a Pentecostal.

We do not invite people to speak at our Commencement because of their Christian stand. If you remember last year Ben Stein spoke at our graduation and he is a Jew and we had him because of his stand on creation and the existence of God.

You asked for a public apology. Dr. Falwell is with the Lord, so he cannot apologize for what he did. I am sure you don’t want us to apologize for following his example.”

Elmer L. Towns

If Beck’s speech had been political and not religious, and if that was the theme, perhaps you could rationalize it. However, when I wrote Dr. Towns I mentioned 2 John 1:10 and questioned how that played out in this event. Ephesians 5:11 says not to participate in the deeds of darkness, and I believe this was one. It is an attempt to grey the lines between Christianity and Mormons, and to give them acceptance as just another Christian “branch”. This would be equally confusing to the young and impressionable saved as well as the onlooking lost. If you are a Pentecostal it does not mean you are in a cult. Jews are not in a cult, though they are denying the fulfillment of God’s promise in Christ. (Perhaps that’s another discussion.) Mormonism was created in contradiction to Christianity and called the Christian churches apostate. This is subversive liberalism in conservative clothing. I later told Dr. Towns that the Pharisees and Pagans were not asked to speak to the 70 as Jesus sent them out. What is the difference here? This is hurting the name of Baptists, and more importantly the name of Christ. Perhaps next we will have Jehovah’s Witnesses to speak on community service, or Muslims to speak against abortion, or a Buddhist to speak on foreign policy, or Hindus to speak on social reform, or Scientologists to speak on healthcare reform. This was graduation for a Baptist, conservative, Christian college. The religion Beck espouses is an anti-Christ. Mormonism is not harmless, it is evil. Most Christian colleges will not even accept you if you, and the church you are a member of, do not hold to the basic tenants of the Christian faith. Here Beck got an honorary degree, and the Mormon faith was affirmed. The worst part is, most people didn’t even mind.

10 Carla Rolfe June 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I honestly don’t know which bothers me more, that LU, a professing Christian school, invites those to speak who reject the Christian faith… or that more Christians aren’t bothered by this… or that I’m not the least bit shocked about it.

It seems more and more that real, genuine Biblical Christianity is rather rare, and what is far more popular is this lovey-dovey “lets all find what unites us” fluffy mentality of spirituality, passing as Christianity.

Caner’s tweet didn’t surprise me at all. He’s always come across to me as very arrogant and in-your-face. I’d like to be wrong about that, but that is the impression he leaves with me.

It’s a truly sad day in the church at large, but I praise God for brothers and sisters who DO get why this is important, and who will not stand united with unbelievers in situations as this. I mean come on, if it were a community yard sale or county fair, totally different story. But the commencement speech at a Christian university? Completely unacceptable. Shame on Caner and LU.

11 chadwick June 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Well said. Caner almost ‘tinkled’ in his pants with excitement when Beck, a Mormon, cried out: ‘Turn to God and live!’ Would he do the same of a Muslim would cry out: ‘Turn to ‘ALLAH’ and live!’????

–chadwick

12 ASH June 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm

It has been the case for many years that typically at the graduation ceremony a political or values-oriented individual is the speaker and a CHRISTIAN religious leader is the speaker at the baccalaureate service. I would guess that LU wished Beck had not talked about faith as distinctly as he did as opposed to more generically because of his Mormon faith. But I after they invited him I would also guess they wanted to be a good host and not slam the guy after he was a bit more “religious” than they expected. I doubt you will see a repeat of this in the future……although I’m sure they will continue to have non-Christians speak for graduation. I’m fine with that.

13 ASH June 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Just out of interest…..how do you know Caner did that?

14 Mark June 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Chadwick,
Your remark about tinkling is a bit over the top. Although it does make me feel about five again.

It would be very interesting if Liberty would ever consider having a politically conservative Muslim speak. If not, why not? If they did and the Muslim did say “Turn to Allah and live” I wonder if there would be any response afterward.

15 Mark June 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Bereansearch,

That is very interesting reasoning Dr. Towns replied with. It sounds like his standard on which to consider your challenge is other men’s actions rather than God’s word. We could justify just about anything with this type of standard. It’s easy to find someone else who has done something worse than you or something that was but shouldn’t have been accepted in the past. How this is line of reasoning offers a solid rational to dismiss a biblical concern is beyond me.

It would be very interesting to know which representatives of other faiths would be acceptable to speak at LU.

16 Mark June 11, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Carla,

What bothers me about your comment is that I can agree with it!

17 Mark June 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm

ASH,

Doesn’t having non-Christian (anti-Christian?) speakers go against Liberty’s positions statements which I quoted above?

18 Terry Rayburn June 12, 2010 at 1:07 am

Yes, same message. Thanks, I’ve often wanted a link to send someone to, without them having to buy a DVD :)

19 Miguel Nuevoiglesia June 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Excellent analysis. I had not seen Ergun’s tweet. Very disappointing response, but consistent with what I have seen and heard of him. Seems the leadership at LU is lacking good judgement:
1. Hiring and promoting Ergun Caner
2. Waiting and waiting and waiting to investigate Ergun
3. Making strange comments over the Caner affair to CT writer such as “It’s not an an ethical issue, it’s not a moral issue,” (????)
4. Wiping their website with no explanation
5. Forcing Mohammed Khan off YouTube, at least for a short time.
6. Inviting Beck to speak

20 Arthur Sido June 12, 2010 at 9:36 pm

As someone who was saved by grace out of the heresy of mormonism, I found it appalling that Liberty would claim to stand first and foremost for the Gospel and then invite with open arms an unbeliever who blasphemes the name of Christ. Maybe Christopher Hitchens could speak next year? Liberty proves yet again that the cult of celebrity beats out the Gospel.

21 Mark June 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Miguel,

It’s interesting that you mentioned the CT article. We discussed it in my Christian ethics class. Everyone, including the professor as I recall, disagreed with what LU’s leadership said. It is most certainly an ethical issue.

Arthur,

As one who came out of a sect of Mormonism, the RLDS, I feel the same way.

All – someone on twitter asked an interesting question. Why did the blogs not react the same way over Liberty inviting Beck as they did over Piper inviting Warren?

22 Howard June 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

jM,

There is much I can agree with, especially the quotes from the Chancellor. However, I think there is a bigger problem. You wrote,

“Although some may say it was only a Commencement speech, it may also be one of the last speeches those graduates hear as they are sent out into the world for Christ.”

I have yet to figure out how a school, which is really established to get Christians into the political sphere, can be charged with the power that belongs to the local church. I mean really, what does the Gospel have to do with a particular brand of American politics?

Don’t get me wrong. I am as patriotic as the next guy. I desire to see the Constitution restored and followed. However, let’s say every state becomes prolife, does it follow that every state will become exactly alike in its government simply because Christians are in political power? I doubt it.

“Did Beck say anything troubling or confusing? Jerry Falwell, Jr. introduced Beck by conferring the honorary doctorate due to Beck’s “tireless efforts to preserve the American ideal.” I would probably agree with this American ideal, yet how does this relate to Liberty’s Christ-centered vision?”

You raise the great question when you noticed that Beck was supposed to comment on the American ideal but instead went talking about faith. Should we be surprised when a Christian school concerns itself primarily with the American ideals (whatever form that may be from one state to another) while claiming to be about the faith? The categories are clearly confused, therefore we should not be surprised when lines are blatantly crossed.

Faith does play a role in the American experiment. It is an experiment in which the people are self-governing and therefore only a religious and morally upright people can exist under such a form of government. However, with that kind of freedom comes the opportunity for self-destruction. It is precisely in the power of the pulpit and not the political sphere that such an experiment may continue.

In conclusion

To be honest, although I agree with many of the concerns you raise, I am not certain what the answer really is. Why would Beck not be allowed to speak at a politically oriented school? Why would Beck not speak about the role of faith in a self-governing nation? If we are truly a religiously free people, isn’t that the idea of the Founders. Let not men nor government get in the way of a man who is seeking after God?

Liberty is not a church, yet is an institution supported by the church. That is the difficulty.

23 Tom Garito June 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

1.
From: Tom [mailto:***@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 2:09 AM
To: Towns, Elmer L.
Subject: Glenn Beck

Dear Dr Towns,

Could you please pass this around and see if you could get the “powers that be” at Liberty to make a public apology for the Commencement address delivered to your graduates and twenty plus thousand friends and family members. To make a mistake is one thing but to act as if nothing went wrong is another.

Tom Garito

I just got back from spending two days at Liberty University for my daughter’s graduation. Before the trip we had been discussing Liberty’s choice of having Glenn Beck as the commencement speaker. Since I appreciate the braveness of Glenn Beck and his willingness to expose the political agenda of many who do not have America’s best interest at heart, I was not as upset as my daughter at the choice. This was despite the fact that he is a Mormon. Truly America faces political dangers unmatched since the time of the American Revolution; so a wake up message from him to the 28,000 in attendance would have been somewhat acceptable to me.

However, that was not the message. Beck spent the majority of his time propagandizing for the Mormon Church. He did a masterful job of using Christian terminology to make naïve listeners think more kindly of his Mormon beliefs and perhaps even come away thinking that the Mormon Church is really Christian and even orthodox in its beliefs. His mention of “Jesus”, “God”, “The Holy Spirit”, “the Atonement” with admiration was extremely deceiving. Again, to lecture about politics is one thing, but for a Mormon to be given a platform to lecture about “the power of faith”, “Jesus”, “God”, “The Holy Spirit” and the “atonement” was extremely disturbing and even heart breaking to me. One of my daughter’s friends who attended was so touched that she said she “almost cried seven times” during his message.

Wouldn’t you think that with all the theologians present for that message, warnings of deception and a call for repentance would be demanded? With just a few minutes of digging anyone interested could easily ascertain that Mormonism has a different “Jesus”, a different “God”, a different “Holy Spirit” and a different “atonement” than the genuine which are clearly revealed in the Bible?

I guess it is just another sign of the times. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived”. 2 Tim 3:13

Tom Garito

Watch speech here:
http://www.therightscoop.com/video-glenn-becks-liberty-university-commencement-address

2.
From: Towns, Elmer L. [mailto:***@liberty.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:36 AM
To: Tom
Subject: RE: Glenn Beck

Thank you for your concern about Glenn Beck and the message that he gave. Listen very carefully to what he said at the beginning, “I did not come to have you reinforce my faith, I came to reinforce your faith.” Recently we heard from David Barton who was on his program that Glenn Beck prayed to receive Christ. Does that help at all? We were aware of this he came to speak.

3.
From: Tom [mailto:***@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:40 PM
To: ‘eltowns@liberty.edu’
Subject: RE: Glenn Beck

Dear Dr Towns,

Thank you for your quick response to my e-mail. Yes, It would greatly help to know that Glenn Beck “prayed to receive Christ”. However, in an age of “assumptive language”, it is increasingly necessary to establish a clarification of terms. The question is: does Glenn Beck understand that the true Jesus of the Bible is not the same as the Jesus of Mormonism. One is God’s only begotten Son. The other is an imposter, “the brother of Lucifer”. Since one cannot serve two masters, the next question that needs clarification is: When Glenn Beck “prayed to receive Christ” did he disavow any allegiance to the False Jesus of Mormonism? The Bible is clear that if a person has two gods, he cannot claim the atoning blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

If Glenn Beck is a true Christian he must repent and reject his previous false religion. Did he do that? If he did and is acting as a missionary to the Mormon people from inside of that organization, then I rejoice with the angles in heaven, will pray for him and refrain from speaking further on the matter. If he did not, then Liberty University is remiss for choosing Glenn Beck (a cult member) to be the spokesperson who could best “reinforce” the faith of its students.

And “yes” Dr Towns I did “listen very carefully” and maintain that if Glenn Beck is trying to serve two gods or any god other than the one true God “creator of heaven and earth”, then he cannot without the washing of regeneration by the Holy Spirit speak with the wisdom necessary to “reinforce” the faith of Christians. For such a person to be chosen to speak about “the power of faith” is again ”remiss” on the part of Liberty University which would need to publicly repent for its error.

I pray that Glenn Beck has experienced true conversion and that he will grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What a powerful witness he could be for the cause of Christ.

Tom Garito

4. Two weeks later on national TV with Dr Falwell present, Glenn Beck is still professing his Mormon Faith. Again, I am fan of Glenn Beck but he was simply the wrong choice to “reinforce” the faith of Liberty graduates. Beck was just as wrong a choice as would have been Ahmadinejad or Osama bin Laden. All three have a different jesus’ who will lead the unsuspecting to an eternity in Hell. Hell is Hell and it doesn’t really matter which one leads a soul to its gates. Actually the Mormon jesus is more subtle and therefore more dangerous to Christians.

I suspect that deep down every staff member of the “School of Religion” knows that. What I don’t know is; are there any brave enough speak up?
Tom Garito

24 Mark June 13, 2010 at 12:06 am

Howard,

I think you missed that my analysis was based on Liberty’s own official proclamations of its purpose and mission, etc. for Christ. They state they are training Christians for all walks of life, not just those with political aspirations.

25 Mark June 13, 2010 at 12:10 am

Tom,

Thank you for sharing this exchange. I’m a little surprised, yet I’m not sure why. The point I tried to show in the post is that by inviting Beck, Liberty is going against its own Christ-centered vision. Dr. Towns’ answer does not seem to care about the gospel, rather he seems to care more about American politics. Amazing!

What do you think he would say about having a conservative Muslim or Jehovah’s Witness speak?

26 Howard June 13, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Mark,

No, I didn’t miss that, and I agree with your assessment coming from your premise. It was the premise that I struggle with. Is it merely a Christian school trying to fulfill the great commission? If so, then how are they accountable to the local church? If they are accountable to the local church as a Christian institution, then your analysis is right on.

But my bigger question is how can it be a Christian institution and be about saving the American experiment or the American way of life or whatever we call it. The American government as founded is not Christian. That is the myth I was attempting to point out (however poorly).

Is it possible that other, just as Christian schools doctrinally, be about arguing for a more centralized government?

27 Howard June 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I guess I should ask the question another way. America is a religiously free nation. So why would Beck not argue for faith in the political realm? The fact that he is deceived about Mormonism is a huge problem from a Christian standpoint. But it is not necessarily one from a political standpoint (although I know conservative Christian will disagree, but then conservative Christians at the time of the founding of this nation disagreed about politics too, which is my point).

The school needs to make up its mind. Is it s Christian school that teaches about the world from a broad Christian perspective and prepares men and women to serve in their respective secular vocations? Or is it a school that is about preparing Christians with a particular secular perspective, thereby possibly confusing church and state issues?

Is it a church or a school or a political institution? As far as I can tell, it is attempting to do what Protestant Liberals have tried to do in the past. That is, saving the culture for Christ.

28 ASH June 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Again, I highly doubt that Liberty expected nor desired that Beck spoke of “biblical doctrine”. That he is Mormon doesn’t change the mission or the vision of the school. Critics here have thus far not responded to the fact that traditionally including this year, the baccalaureate address is made by a Christian leader and the graduation speech is made by a political person. This does indeed reflect the actuality of the school since I went there 25 years ago. It has always been a Christian school with a strong political bent. The baccalaureate address this year was given by Dr. Paige Patterson, president of an SBC seminary. There WAS a difference this year however….Patterson also had a part in the graduation ceremony as well.

Having a speaker who doesn’t share the faith is tantamount to having a textbook from an author who doesn’t share the faith but is qualified in his subject field to share his knowledge to a Christian university. I just think Beck went into territory that LU didn’t expect and were gracious hosts not to make a big deal out of…….rightly or wrongly.

29 Tom Garito June 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Ash,
Giving LU the benefit of the doubt, you may be correct that Beck simply “went into territory that LU didn’t expect”. Where you are very wrong is that it is not “gracious” to let religious deception pour from an address without a peep of disclaimer or warning concerning the false doctrine that went forth from a huge Liberty supplied platform.

I agree that Beck is qualified in his subject field (politics) but that is not what he talked about. He talked about “faith”. On that topic he is far from being a person qualified to speak at a “Christian University”.

As I said in my post above, “Beck was just as wrong a choice as would have been Ahmadinejad or Osama bin Laden. All three have a different jesus’ who will lead the unsuspecting to an eternity in Hell. Hell is Hell and it doesn’t really matter which one leads a soul to its gates. Actually the Mormon jesus is more subtle and therefore more dangerous to Christians.”

“Ho Hum, So What?” “Political correctness should trump doctrine anyhow.” This is increasingly the church of today. The Bible calls it the “Leodocean Church”.

Tom Garito

30 Mark June 13, 2010 at 10:25 pm

ASH, you said

That he is Mormon doesn’t change the mission or the vision of the school.

What I’ve quoted from LU’s mission/vision is in direct opposition to this statement as far as I can tell. I understand what has historically been practiced, but I’m asking how Beck and his Mormonism fit with what I’ve quoted.

31 ASH June 13, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I understand what you are saying but there IS a time and a place to be gracious. There are plenty, like us, doing the work of letting the few unsuspecting people know what Beck said is not Christian doctrine. (The truth is the critics have made more people hear the offensive words then would have ever known otherwise.) God’s church is safe no matter what we do or they did. In that we can rest. There is no reason IMO to be rude and embarrass someone who “went off-script” after you were the one to invite him.

32 Chad Bresson June 14, 2010 at 12:01 am

This entire episode is symptomatic of evangelicalism’s failure to rightly identify, articulate, or defend the gospel once for all delivered to the saints. When someone claims that a religious Jew, such as Ben Stein, has a “stand on creation and the existence of God” they prove evangelicalism simply wouldn’t know the gospel if it were in front of them. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a “stand on creation and the existence of God” virtually identical to Stein’s. If the self-attesting Christ of Scripture, as the Bible portrays and explains him to be, is not part of that “creation” and “existence of God” equation, the “stand” is at best a mirage, at worst, a ruse.

33 Tom June 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

Ash,
Who was rude and who was trying to embarrass someone who “went off-script”. Telling the “truth in love” is the only proper Christian response. Eph. 4:14-15
Tom

34 Ron June 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

I cant believe you so called Christians… The ONLY religion that can truley witness and testify by first hand knowlege that your claims are true you persecute. Mormons have always testified of Christ, He is the Center of thier faith and yes they have differing information…But the source of the information you ridicule and trust in the hand of man. If you Christians held any of your leaders, or writings or even the Founding of your religions honestly to the same standards you use for mormonism you would have to deny any religion is true and all are cults. I doubt you could be so honest because of the hipocritical and holier than thou attitude that permiates modern theology. The Scribes and Pharasies of today… Shame on you all

35 Terry June 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

Ron,

Two problems:

1. You don’t know what the concept of “holiness” is, yet you use the cliche “holier than thou”, as though there really wasn’t a true thing called holiness.

Holiness is that concept of being “separated from” or “separated out of” or “separated to” something or someone.

Born-again Christians are separated out of the world spiritually by God, and separated to the Lord Jesus Christ by Him.

In that sense they are indeed “holier” than someone who is not thus spiritually separated.

That’s not something for them to brag about, since God did the miraculous work in their hearts by grace. But it’s true nonetheless.

Part of their responsibility, however, is to acknowledge that spiritual separation, and to honor the One who thus saved them.

To pretend that they were unchanged and just like those who were not saved and spiritually separated out is to dishonor the Lord Who accomplished it.

That’s what LU does when they put a famous politico before their students for their last “message” before going out into the world of adult workers and business people.

2. You fail to see the logic of the case, which even a logically thinking unbeliever should readily see — that is, that if the core of your institution’s mission is “A”, and a speaker is anti-“A”, you should not invite that speaker to inspire your members to “commence” with their lives.

Microsoft would be foolish to invite Steve Jobs to launch Windows 7.

GM would be foolish to invite the President of Ford Motor Company to launch the new Escalade.

36 Mark June 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

Ron, are you the “Ron” that I have the arrest warrant out for? You need to tell me where you are so I can have you picked up. Okay?

Wait! You’re not that “Ron”? How can I be sure since “Ron” is the one who testified to committing the crimes? You may even claim that you are not the same Ron based differing information. But is that an acceptable distinction?

I hope you see my point.

It is because Christians us the standards we do that we can deny all other religions, including Mormonism, is true. Christians are not playing the Pharisee card. We aren’t better than anyone. It is exactly the opposite that we are not better than anyone else, but that we all need Christ.

I suppose even Joseph Smith was Pharisaical by claiming he had the total truth rather than the apostate Christians of his time. Even Glenn Beck and Liberty believe they are correct in their political ideals and that their positions are the right ones.

You may want to read Playing the Pharisee Card.

37 ASH June 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

This is the third time you have brought this up Mark. With respect, I think you might be being a bit presumptuous. Better that Liberty decide what fits into their mission/vision than us. Just consider the name of the institution; “LIBERTY”. Besides, their tradition DOES scream loudly. Seems hard to imagine anyone goes to the school unaware of it’s political bent. But let me post a couple of the things that fits into their “Aims” from the same web page you quote from:

AIMS

In support of its Philosophy and Mission, Liberty University seeks to develop the whole person by providing its students with intellectual and cultural pursuits that:

1. Contribute to a knowledge and understanding of other cultures and of international events.

2. Promote an understanding of the Western tradition and the diverse elements of American cultural history, especially the importance of the individual in maintaining democratic and free market processes.

…snip…

I think that covers quite clearly the political nature of the school. Now we can argue whether it should be or not but there is no doubt that it is, has been, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

38 Ron June 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

Again…Honesty…..you cannot be serious…you miss the point totally…WAIT..YOU Make my point here…exactly what I mean. Thank you

If you are trying to sell your product…AKA Baptists, Lutherans, etc..Then of course you dont want competition.. BUT if your product is Truth…

I am not going to feed into useless debait about religions but you have to admit you have a double standard when it comes to the lds church’s doctrines and the origin of them than you have for your own. BE Honest with yourself.

39 Ron June 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

Why would you presume to know what I dont or do know… Why attack? I guess its because thats what a persecutor does…My point is the double standard and the group think of modern theology not wheather one religion is right or not…
It seems counter productive to claim the an eyewitness to something you claim to exist (The very existance of God) you discredit…That someone states that he recieved revelation as a man from God you want to claim him a heiritic…
Is not the common interest of man be to find truth? From All sources?
The claim that the LDS folks have made are no more fantastic as someone claiming a man raised another from the dead. Or raised himself…
OR
Is it really the idea that your sect might be wrong about some things and that will threaten your paradigm…

40 Mark June 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Hi ASH,

Yes, I did bring this issue up more than once. I will tell you why I don’t believe I’m being presumptuous. To do so I will put the quotes you offered into context. First, the “Aims” are preceded by the “Philosophy” and “Mission” on their “Purpose/Mission” page, emphasis mine.

Philosophy of Education
Education as the process of teaching and learning involves the whole person, developing the knowledge, values, and skills that enable the individual to change freely. Thus it occurs most effectively when both instructor and student are properly related to God and each other through Christ.

Mission
To develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world. The mission is carried out for resident students through a rigorous academic program and structured social environment. It is carried out for external students in a comparable academic program but without the structure of the resident community.

The quotes you provided come next and fall under the title of “Aims” as you said which states (emphasis mine):

Aims
In support of its Philosophy and Mission, Liberty University seeks to develop the whole person by providing its students with intellectual and cultural pursuits that:

This is why I believe inviting a Mormon, or any other representative from a non-Christian perspective, as Liberty did with Beck, violates their own stated positions. Especially, this sentence:

Thus it occurs most effectively when both instructor and student are properly related to God and each other through Christ.

Ash, I’m not mad, but I am happy to disagree with you about this. I do appreciate your comments which have made me think a little more deeply and, hopefully, clearly.

41 Mark June 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Chad, great insightful comment.

42 Terry Rayburn June 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Ron,

I can see that you don’t need more debate over a Commencement Address speaker, or even over us Christians who fall short but serve a perfect Lord.

What you need is to believe in the [true] Jesus Christ, the one who is God, and Who created the Universe, and who came to Earth as a man, while remaining God, and died on the Cross for sins, and was buried and rose again on the third day.

His salvation is a free gift, having nothing to do with the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, or LDS doctrine.

Contrary to the teachings of Mormonism, there is only one God, not multitudes.

And it is He who has revealed the Good News of Jesus Christ, that if you will change your mind about your sins, and change your mind about Jesus Christ, and believe in Him as Savior and Lord, He will forgive your sins and give you eternal life and declare you righteous, in right standing with God.

“By grace [a free gift] are you saved, through faith. Not of works [LDS or otherwise], lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8,9

With love, that’s what I pray for you. May the Lord open your heart.

43 ASH June 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Thank you for your kind words. It’s never my desire to disagree disagreeably. Of course we do disagree but be that as it may. Blessings to you.

44 Vic DeLay June 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Download my free eBook at FreeJesusGifts.com Please send comments on my book positive and negative.

Read below why LU disgraced Christianity by inviting Glenn Beck to their commencement and then honored him with an Honorable Doctorate. God help us!

Of all the sins committed against God, what is the worst? We all immediately think of Hitler, Mao Tse-tung and Stalin including many others. However, when satan decided to overthrow the throne of God, that was the greatest sin of all eternity. Due to satan’s sin, God created hell and threw satan and 1/3 of the angels into hell with him. Obviously believing you can become God, is not something most of us would want to do or support. Why do Mormons? Also, see chapter 39 above again. Really!

When you read the 10 Commandments, please notice the first four commandments are directly related to the Majesty of God. It’s very obvious where God places Himself in the priority of the greatest laws ever written. Again, don’t mess with God!

I. “I am the LORD your God…

II. “You shall have no other gods before me…

III. “You shall not make for yourself an idol…

IV. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…

Note: We have seven LDS Mormons in our family. Please pray their eyes may be opened soon.

All the information listed below is verified with complete proof of content. Gov. Romney believes and practices the following Mormon doctrines and again I believe the American people have a right to know this information.
Here’s a small summary and then the documented proof of just a few of the false Mormon teachings.

1. God was only a man before becoming God.
2. Mormons teach there is no Virgin birth.
3. Mormons teach God became man to impregnate Mary for Jesus.
Note: Number 3 is possibly BLASPHEMY! (See J. K. and L. Below).
4. Mormons believe there are an infinite number of gods in the universe.
5. Mormon doctrines teach they will become individual gods upon death?
6. Mormons disagree that belief in Jesus alone is all that is needed for salvation.

7. Many more such beliefs by the LDS Mormons, are found in their books such as: Milton R. Hunter, Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15 “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this sprit-filled “brother of Jesus” desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.”
Note: As you can see above Mormons LDS believe satan is Jesus’ brother. You will find that most Mormons LDS have a difficult time admitting this belief to others. Mormons LDS use the term “spirit-filled” brother of Jesus, trying to contradict what their own words say. After all, we know the Holy Spirit is part of the triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Heaven we will all be spirits too.
Their argument is void of common sense, because I believe their real intent is to promote what they consider a better PR (Public Relations) for Mormons LDS. They call themselves Christians however, they know Bible believing Christians would never believe Jesus and satan were brothers. See Chapters 8 and 39 for reference.
Several more Documented publications of the LDS Mormons beliefs below:
A. The beliefs of the LDS church that contradict the Bible – as documented in publications of the church or verified public statements made by church officials including: There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163.) And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light (Book of Abraham 4:3)

B. There is a mother god, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443.)

C. God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine p. 516.)

D. “The head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world. The grand counselors sat at the head in yonder heavens, and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at that time.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “King Follet Discourse,” Journal of Discourses, Volume 6, pp. 1-11)

E. “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “King Follet Discourse,” Journal of Discourses, Volume 6, pp. 1-11)

F. After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354.)

G. The whole design of the gospel is to lead us, onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62) and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.179)

H. The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fullness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fullness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie, 2:, p.48)

I. That exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day. I had a direct revelation of this. It was most perfect and complete. If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly, clearly, so that there could be no doubt or dubiety, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words: “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.” (Lorenzo Snow, The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.5)

And…
J. “Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie, 1:, p.18)

K. “Now, we are told in scriptures that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father.”

L. The Christian denominations believe that Christ was begotten not of God, but of the spirit that overshadowed his mother. This is nonsense. Why will not the world receive the truth? Why will they not believe the Father when he says that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son? Why will they try to explain this truth away and make mystery of it?” (James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 4:, p.329)

M. “If Jesus had been a mere mortal he too would have been subject to death and thus unable to save either himself or others. The physical Jesus was born of Mary, a mortal woman; but he was the literal, biological son in the flesh of God the Father, from whom he received power over death.” (Robert J. Matthews, Behold the Messiah , p.12)

N. “These name-titles all signify that our Lord is the only Son of the Father in the flesh. Each of the words is to be understood literally. Only means only; Begotten means begotten; and Son means son. Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., p.546)

O. “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8: p. 115).

P. “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers” (Mormon Doctrine,” by Bruce McConkie, p. 547).

Q. “Intelligent beings are organized to become Gods, even the Sons of God, to dwell in the presence of the Gods” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.245).

R. “God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346).

S. “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become” (“We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”) 2 Nephi 25:23 (emphasis added) This “scripture” is explained in the LDS church-published reference work Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball on page 206:
T. “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (emphasis added) Prophet Lorenzo Snow quoted in The Gospel Through the Ages, Hunter, p.105-106).

NOTE: All of the above Mormon claims are in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christianity as contained in the Holy Bible. While we invite readers and listeners comments, both positive and negative, we must insist that our discourse be based on factual information. As long as the actual teachings of Mormonism that contradict Christianity are denied, such a conversation cannot take place.

Study and Remember : The first four of the Ten Commandments above!

45 Vic DeLay June 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I apologize, this should have been in front of my last submission.

40 ~ Bishop & Governor Romney’s Mormon Teachings

Is Gov. Romney running for President, God or both???

My motivation for presenting this information, is to advise people of the false teachings of the Mormon church. Gov. Romney’s continual influence, by being seen regularly in the national media will undoubtedly draw many to the Mormon church. Please help me get this information out to the people, which could save many souls.

I believe the American people have a right to know this documented information. (See documentation below.) Gov. Romney’s church teaches there are millions of gods in the universe. They teach that if their members do enough good works they will become gods. The higher degree of good works they do will influence their rank as gods when they die. (Read Chapter 39 again!)

Gov. Romney’s church teaches this and encourages all of their people to work towards this goal. Gov. Romney has attained some high positions in his lifetime including Governor of Massachusetts. Gov. Romney has been taught that acquiring such a high position would assure him of a very high rank of god in the future. No wonder he is willing to spend millions upon millions of his own dollars to attain the position of President.

The Bible instructs us to not wish people who believe these types of teachings God’s speed. It also says that if we do, we are committing the same sin as the these false teachings. Voting for Gov. Romney for president is definitely wishing him God’s speed. I wouldn’t do that, would you?

Isaiah 43:10 “Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.”
(Seems pretty clear to me.)

2 Samuel 7:22 “You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You.”

Note: Many more verses in Chapter 8, Jesus is God.

2nd John 9-11 KJV Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

46 Vic DeLay June 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

“One God”

Isaiah 43:10 NIV “Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.”

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

2 Samuel 7:22 “You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You.”

1 Chronicles 17:20 “O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides you…”

Isaiah 44:6 “I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.”

Isaiah 44:8 “Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Isaiah 46:9 “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.”

Mark 12:29 “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”

John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God.”

1 Corinthians 8:4 “There is no God but one.”

1 Timothy 1:17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God.”

James 2:19 “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”

Jude 25 “The only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Note: The above are only some of the verses which show there are no other gods. Nothing more I can really say, the Bible says it all anyway.

47 Vic DeLay June 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

~ Is Jesus God? Study the Following Bible Verses and Make Your Decision

Mark 14:61-62 NIV “But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”

Colossians 2:8-9 NIV “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

Colossians 1:15-20 NIV “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”

John 14:6 NIV “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Matthew 16:13-17 NIV “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven.”

Luke 22:70 NIV “They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

John 15:17-23 NIV Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at His work to this very

day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.

Yes, to your amazement He will show Him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.”

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent Him.”

Acts 4:12 NIV “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

1 Timothy 2:5-6 NIV “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men the testimony given in its proper time.”

John 10:30 NIV “I and the Father are one.”

Isaiah 9:6 NIV “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Revelations 1:17-18 KJV And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Revelations 1:17-18 NIV When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Note: The KJV and NIV in the two verses above are almost exactly the same.

Note: Jesus is the only person who has ever claimed He is God. If you believe the Bible is true, how could you possibly doubt that Jesus is God? Again, don’t take my word, study for yourself.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Note: Don’t expect to learn Jesus is God at very many of our churches today. We have met well known “Christians” and “leaders” with over 50 years in their church, who did not know Jesus is God. Again, if we can’t teach that our Savior, Jesus Christ is God, what’s being taught in most churches? In my opinion, not much.

I have sent the fifty year Christians the above Bible verses to convince them of what the Bible does teach.

This couple has sung Gospel songs all over the world. They thanked me and were quite concerned they didn’t know just who Jesus actually is.

You can be sure that I emailed them the following verses too.

2 Timothy 2:15 and John 14:26. I sure hope they have begun studying the Bible for themselves.

Hebrews 1:3 NIV “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven.”

John 14:6 NIV Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

48 Mark June 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Vic,

Thanks for all the info. I pray your relatives eyes are opened and they come out of the LDS organization.

49 William W. Wexler July 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

Let ma start by saying that as an atheist, I don’t have a dog in this fight.

However, as an American observer of faith and politics, I find that the only two words that describe the relationship between Beck and Liberty University to be “unholy alliance”. As pointed out in the article, Mormons have a heretical view of religion from the Christian perspective. The only conclusion that can be drawn, then, is that one of America’s top Bible-thwackin’ schools lets political similarities trump theological differences.

For Liberty U to be looking to the Mormons for political alliances is an indicator of how compromised the political power of the religious right has become. I believe that you would say that this is a plague you have brought down on your own house, by attempting to mix politics and religion with divisive wedge issues and religious purity tests. Your electorate grows weary; when the people you tell us to vote for are on the “right” side of the abortion issue but they destroy the economy, move wealth up the food chain, pick unnecessary and illegal wars, and so on, it makes you seem puny and wrong for bringing up the “abortion purity test” during a campaign. The most radical elements of the right appear to have abandoned the GOP altogether, leaving the religious right to choose which side you’re on.

I’m no friend of Liberty U or the Falwell gang. But as much as I disagree with the way Liberty attempts to subjugate all of us with a theocratic agenda, the Mormons are that times 10 times 10 on steroids. The Mormons have every city block of the civilized world mapped out and assigned to a member. The Mormons plan is to replace the representative democratic government of the US with the Priesthood. They have successfully engaged in two political campaigns about social wedge issues and WON (Prop 8 and Question 1) which is more than the religious right can say about anything you’ve done lately. (No, killing abortion doctors and getting Bill O’Reilly to say “Tiller the Killer” doesn’t count as “winning”).

I stopped by here because I’m doing an article about the Tea Party movement, actually the 3rd in a series, and this one is to cover the delicate relationship between Mormons and Christians in the Tea Party. When I started writing this series last winter, I believed that the Tea Party would fracture on religious lines. Now I’m not so sure; it appears that Beck is doing a soft sell on Christians, convincing the ignorant that Mormons are just like Methodists to Baptists.

My advice to you Christians, and of course, since I’m atheist, take it or leave it. I know about Mormons. They are masters of weasel words, deception, and lies of omission. If you do political business with the Mormons they will use you like toilet paper and dump you without thinking twice.

-Wexler

50 Howard July 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm

A response to Wexler. Some of the points raised were exactly what I attempted to raise but was stated far better, and I appreciate Wexler’s pointing out the what should be obvious. Referring to the political alliance as an “unholy alliance” was well stated. Politics certainly makes for strange bed-fellows. For instance, the statement that LU is “attempting to mix politics and religion with divisive wedge issues and religious purity tests” is certainly a problem.

Also the criticism that Mormonism is the political right on steriods used to be right on. He writes, “The Mormons plan is to replace the representative democratic government of the US with the Priesthood.”

This statement is probably true in that originally, with Mormon’s cultic beginnings and expansion to the west, was no doubt a part of the American historical culture. I just don’t know that such a monolithic view of Mormonism today can remain a reality.

Much of this is a fear of those of believe in God/Creator being in the public sphere at all. For instance, this statement is telling of the certain presuppositions that cause the Left to fear the Right and vice versa.

“When I started writing this series last winter, I believed that the Tea Party would fracture on religious lines.”

It “seems” to be part of the fear of the “Left” (if I may be so bold as to use that term) that the Religious Right wants to establish a theocracy. Of course, that is patently absurd. The irony, is that many theological liberals that vote democratic are attempting to enforce their religious views by forcing everyone to pay for a bankrupt welfare state and the unconstitutional social security program, Global Warming and ect ect. The Left believes it can appeal to itself as the ultimate authority, hence, we already have our Theocracy

Atheists will always fear the “religious right”, for no matter what the Religious Right says or does, they will be seen as those who live in Medievel times and the horrendous persecution of the so-called church against the average citizen, while ignoring the Reformation as giving the basis for the modern forms of governments that we live under (I recognize the enlightenment era also was a major part of this as well.). And the Religious Right will always fear the Political religious/atheist Left for the dominant secular humanism. Wexler seems to just assume that public schools teaching evolution is as right as the earth is round and that anyone who disagrees is a flat earther. By this foundation for society, which is far more prevalent and government sponsored than anything the religious right has to offer, the religious right obviously has far more to fear than anything mormonism has done.

The statement also seems to assume that the Tea Party movement is religious in nature. The idea that people of all stripes are seeing the overthrow of Constitutional government that is in fact happening right in front of them are merely hallucinating is simply naive at best. I have had several left of center friends tell me how insane I am for thinking the government is trying to do exactly what the Tea Party members fear. It is as if the $400 billion TARP bill, health care, ect never became laws and how sickening the government used scare tactics to assert itself to assume power we would never have given to it through normal means. I mean seriously, the Patriot Act is nothing compared to what Obama has done.

Now that I have gone off the reservation of the points Wexler has raised, I’ll come back. Conservative Christians, like their atheist counter-parts, love their country and want to see the best for their kids. It has always been a temptation for Christians to try to save their cultures (this is not unique to the U.S.) by using man-made ideas. On the one hand, what is wrong with that? On the other hand, why confuse or do anything political in the Name of Jesus? His Kingdom is not of this world’s system.

So the Christian has a problem or a tension. He must on the one hand live a life governed by the King, who is ruling at the Right Hand of God now. On the other hand, he must live a life next door to his muslim/atheist/hindu neighbor, who is not a citizen of that heavenly Kingdom and treat his neighbor as one made in the image of God. Saving a country politically that stands for free speech ect is a great thing. Saving a man’s soul is an entirelly different sphere.

51 Mark July 20, 2010 at 11:00 am

William,

I appreciate that you know where you stand theologically as an atheist from a Christian perspective. I also appreciate that you can so easily see this “unholy alliance” as you put it between Beck and Liberty which is due to their theological differences. It’s really not that hard to see, but it may be tough for some to admit.

Theologically speaking, I hope you understand that I would tell you the same thing as I would Beck. That you, like all, need to repent of your sin and turn to Jesus Christ by faith alone for forgiveness. My guess is that you probably already know this is where I stand. Further, this is what shapes, or should shape, a Christian’s worldview. One can’t really separate that which informs their worldview from acting out such beliefs in the political and social areas of influence.

That said, I agree with your comment, but I do not agree that the current state of affairs has happened by necessity. The plague comes when political agreement trumps the gospel of Christ not when Christian’s Constitutionally fight for laws and actions according to their worldview.

Being on the right side of the abortion issue does not lead to destroying the economy. None of this happens in a vacuum. The religious left has their own agenda too. I could just as easily say that the left has their religious purity tests. They seek to take money from those who’ve earned it and redistribute it carrying more for the economy than for millions of babies who die in the womb every year. Would you say there are no atheists who are against abortion laws?

I don’t know if the Mormon’s have an agenda to replace the representative democratic government of the US with the Priesthood. Even if they did I doubt they could accomplish such a task. Though I’d love to see the blueprint.

Everyone has an agenda. Religious right and left, atheists, agnostics, etc. Even those with similar values sometimes disagree on how those values should be acted upon.

It does seem that Mormons have an agenda, at least some, to be accepted within mainstream Christianity. When Christian schools like Liberty give them a platform it only helps Mormons and hurts Christians.

Yet, if Mormons want to step up and help push for good moral legislation that’s fine. This doesn’t mean I will pretend they are a Christian group and give them a religious platform. Whether left or right there will always be people of other religions as well as atheists on one’s side of an issue. And to some extent everyone will have their own motivations for being on the side they are on.

My main concern for Christians is that the gospel is clearly the motivation for their actions. First, in their personal lives and secondarily in the political realm in a way which does not obfuscate the gospel.

52 William W. Wexler July 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Howard and Mark, thank you for your thoughtful and lengthy posts! They are both worthy of responses that I don’t have time to give to at the moment, but I promise I will return to do so.

I think we see a lot of this situation (and worldview) much more in common than I might have thought. We are cut from the same cloth, as the saying goes. I will leave this tab open on my desktop until I have time to write you both a “real” answer.

Peace,

Wexler

53 Howard July 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

“They have successfully engaged in two political campaigns about social wedge issues and WON”

I did need to mention something about this statement. This is really a good point about the entire discussion. Should political issues be done in the Name of the Church, Mormon or Christian? Since Slavery is looked upon currently as a disgusting practice by most Americans, I venture to ask the simple question. Would we really be upset if the Southern Baptists or the Mormons publicly opposed Slavery and encouraged their members to do so and even gave money to political caandidates to fight it? If so, we have already heard one SBC pastor going green and trying to save the earth from global warming.

This is where, I think anyway, the tension lies. I think there is a way for church to practice church discipline against say a slave owner as opposed to a church actively participating in the political process and interfereing directly with the political process.

For another example, I think all Christians should oppose homosexual unions of any sort. They should vote accordingly. Separately, the church should be a voice for what is right and preach the moral law of God. Yet the church is not the state and, although, she may warn the state of God’s historical dealings with nations that ignore His law and the created order, again, to interfere directly with the Kingdom of man as if that were her mission is wrong. Jesus does not authorize the church with such power or authority.

How many times has the church politically stood for political ideas that are just plain wrong? If the church just sticks to her mission, then I think informed Christians may argue for their positions in the public realm (while informed by their Christian worldview), even differing from one another on specific political issues. In this way, we may be able to argue rationally and persuasively for what is best whether it be about Iraq, Iran, Patriot Act welfare, ect ect ect, and that Christ and His church doesn’t get blamed for errors that should not be done in His name in the first place.

Anyway, this is getting long…sorry.

54 William W. Wexler July 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

OK, last things first. I will admit that the coffee has not quite seeped into me yet, so please bear with any momentary lapses into incoherence.

There was a time (late 60s) when I was considering a career in the ministry and one of the ideas that attracted me to it was the notion that a church could, through activism, raise up the people and work to end social injustice (exactly what Glenn Beck rails against on pretty much a daily basis). I thought that churches could be a force to help poor neighborhoods organize, build fellowship and trust, their local economies, and help and comfort each other in times of need and sorrow. I was very interested in the notion of providing youth with something to do other than hang out and get high.

Well, I still think those are all functions that churches can and should do. As an atheist I’m not so keen on the proselytizing that’s going to happen with it, but I am not anti-religion for anyone except me and the State.

This brings us to Howard’s last post. The question posed: should churches engage in the political process to change public policy? The example given, slavery. It’s hard to argue FOR slavery. ;-) However, you raise a good point since the example given is a civil rights issue. Slavery was a state-sanctioned violation of the civil rights of human beings. Not everybody agreed to that premise, which nearly destroyed the USA. We could have ended up as two different nations, one slave and one free with an uneasy cease fire with a multitude of skirmishes and violations. That would have been ugly.

I think you know where I’m going with this. There are a growing number of us who believe that being gay is not a sin, it’s a natural phenomenon. I personally do not “get” it, but it’s not hard to imagine that people could be attracted to the same sex. I don’t have to imagine it, it’s all around us. It’s even becoming culturally acceptable. There’s a gay channel on cable TV. The question is, what is the appropriate role of the church in this culture clash?

The difference between the slavery issue and the LGBT rights issue is that in the first case the role of the church was to fight for equal rights, and in the second case the church finds itself fighting against equal rights. So what the church is saying is that all individual humans on this planet, in this country, do NOT have equal rights, one of the most important of those human rights being to choose your spouse.

I believe the church (in general) is on the wrong side of this issue. I say “in general” because there are many churches who have come around in their thinking on this issue. Many are now ordaining openly gay clergy, and in the few places where LGBT marriage rights exist, they are willing to perform Christian weddings of gay couples.

If the church wants to fight this trend outside its own walls, then I believe that it has now moved from the place of religious advocacy to political activism. If this is what the congregation wishes to do, I say go for it. This is America. But if the structure of the church is being used to fund a front group, that is another story. It’s not illegal, nor should it be prohibited. However, there are reporting requirements and the church should lose its tax exempt status based on the First Amendment Establishment Clause.

I believe that most readers here will be deeply aware (probably more than me, so help me out if I’m wrong, please) of the relationship between NOM and anti-LGBT campaigns in California and Maine. In both cases, the Mormons spent millions of dollars in a campaign to take away civil rights. NOM is functionally a money-laundering group. In Maine, NOM refused court orders to disclose the source of an estimated $2 million in funding for their anti-LGBT campaign.

The Mormons were completely off my radar screen until I found out about Glenn Beck’s Mormonism. Then I found out about Prop 8, and Question 1, and exchanged emails with multitudes of ex-Mormons who left the cult at a very high personal cost. Many lost their friends, their families, and their jobs. To me this is much more of a perversion and abomination than the LGBT community wanting the basic human right to love someone and commit to be with them.

Thoughts?

Wexler

PS I still have 2 other messages above to address, and I’m a bit slower than I used to be. One of the things I want to confess is that I have 3 clergy in my family. My sister is an ordained Lutheran minister and so is her husband, who serves as a chaplain in the US Army and will be retiring soon. My other sister has just been ordained as a “Lightworker”. I do not know anything about this group but she will be here to visit in a couple of weeks so I will pick her brain on this. I do know that they consider themselves to be Christian. She gave me the 10,000 foot view once along the lines of “Integrating Christianity and other religious traditions including Hinduism and Buddhism.” Hmmm. Should be interesting.

55 Howard July 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Howdy again Wexler,

“The difference between the slavery issue and the LGBT rights issue is that in the first case the role of the church was to fight for equal rights, and in the second case the church finds itself fighting against equal rights.”

I reject the false premise of this argument. There are major category issues here. The foundation of morality that undergirds the homosexual movement is nothing but quicksand. I have raised the argument before that if we grant your position, then by the exact same arguments, marriage can be defined as anything, even marrying your pets.

Of course I have usually had the emotional arguments thrown back at me that I’m comparing homosexuals to those who have sex with horses. However, that misses the entire point. I am not comparing the two on that level of emotion. I have simply pointed out that the same basis or foundation, if applied consistently, allows anything. To this day, I have yet to hear an argument against the substance.

If we deny the created order, and there actually being a Creator of this created order, and that the Creator has the right to define the created order, then I’m not certain how we argue against slavery. For example, you stated,

“Not everybody agreed to that premise, which nearly destroyed the USA.”

This argument seems to assume the idea that nobody can know anything about the morality of slavery as it was practiced in the South. It seems to be saying that Slavery lost due to the might of the north, and that was the only reason we can say it was wrong.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps you do mean to say the Abolitionists had a sound moral argument. But Having equal rights is not the issue. There is a joke someone told impersonating George Bush where he says homosexuals do have the right to get married. “If a homosexual man wants to marry a homosexual woman, that is perfectly moral and legal.”

Now if we wish to go “pervert” the created order, then polygamy of any kind must be allowed by the same argument. But now I’m just repeating myself…..

As for the “phenomena” that we see, I have witnessed a male dog climb on a male dog, the fact that we say to ourselves, “Gee, that’s just plain wrong.” Is in my opinion evidence that we know some things are just wrong and also have a moral facet to them as well.

God Bless

56 Howard July 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm

““Integrating Christianity and other religious traditions including Hinduism and Buddhism.””

I have also tried to squeeze a round peg into a square hole. Just more evidence of the sinfulness of all of mankind and man’s active suppression of the truth of the Creator and His purpose as demonstrated in history.

I think part of the reason so many think like the above quote is due to so many Christians arguing for Christianity on a subjective basis. Perhaps if Christians got away from “How Jesus helped me stop doing drugs or get my homework done” to “Jesus was raised from the dead historically”, then maybe this kind of stuff would not be as pervasive.

57 William W. Wexler July 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Howard,

I don’t think you’d find too many people in the nation who equate having sex with animals with having sex with a human. That would be rather dishonest, wouldn’t it?

Here’s the plain truth, and this is where we will undoubtedly part ways (nicely, I hope). The plain truth is that the US is not a Christian nation any more than it’s a Satanic nation. In fact, atheists are a larger group than any single Christian denomination. (16% of the population). The state documents, primarily the Constitution, were written by deists. That’s why the words “God” and “Jesus” appear nowhere in the Constitution. In fact, “under God” didn’t even exist in the Pledge until the Cold War hysteria that crackpots like the JBS and Cleon Skousen plunged us into. Oh, the red menace.

But I digress. The plain truth is that we are a secular state. We HAVE to be that, because we are a diverse state, a state made up of everybody from the holiest of rollers to seriously backslid Methodists like me. We have people who worship Thor the Thunder Gawd. The funny thing is, they ALL say they’re right. The Christians (all 38000 denominations), the Muslims, the Hindus, the Goths, all claim to know something which is unknowable. Even if it was knowable, simple logic should tell you that you can’t ALL be right.

So the government is required by law to stay out of the religion business. This means that you cannot use your religious test calling homosexuality evil as a basis for a law. You just CAN’T. That’s imposing your religious beliefs on a citizen of this country, which is expressly prohibited by the Bill of Rights.

One of the themes I hear repeated a lot from your side of the political aisle is a profound and deep respect for the Constitution. If only we would get back to the Constitution, the narrative goes, we’d be fine. Well, we are getting back to it. We’re getting back to the part of it where it says that every human being has rights that can not be taken away from them by the state. They ESPECIALLY cannot be taken away when the reason the state is acting is based on someone’s religious sensitivity.

Your raising the bestiality argument against LGBT marriage is troubling. It ought to be troubling to you, because it’s a false equivalency and a particularly cruel one at that. I believe that your Jesus would not smile at that tactic, and I hope for your own sake you can come up with better examples to bolster your argument than slavery and bestiality. Because the Mormon cult is definitely working to impose religion over civil rights, and homosexuality is not the same thing as bestiality any more than dogs have the right to vote.

-Wexler

58 Howard July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

Howdy again Wexler,

You are probably correct. I have appreciated this conversation. We will probably be going to part ways shortly. I pray the Lord’s blessings. I do need to offer a few responses.

1) “The plain truth is that the US is not a Christian nation any more than it’s a Satanic nation. In fact, atheists are a larger group than any single Christian denomination.”

I do want to start off by agreeing that the US is not a Christian Nation. There is no such thing outside the church. On the other hand, I disagree with your notion that the Founders were Deists. I realize many of them were. But 95% were Christian church members. All of our institutions for the first 100 years were founded by christians or were actual Christian institutions (think colleges such as Princeton, Harvard or organizations such as Bible societies ect ect). So the Supreme Court’s findings in the late 1800s were correct. Culturally, the US was a christian nation.

2) “We’re getting back to the part of it where it says that every human being has rights that can not be taken away from them by the state. They ESPECIALLY cannot be taken away when the reason the state is acting is based on someone’s religious sensitivity.”

No one is losing rights in the homosexual debate. The trick you have used is that Christian conservatives are using a religious argument. I also strongly believe murder is wrong due to my religious belief that men are mad inthe image of God. Outside of that, a lion may kill a chicken and nobody has any moral authority to file a lawsuit of murder against that lion.

The irony here is that people such as yourself will often say that Christians and other religions are man-made. So they are just another moral system with religious claims. Yet is that not exactly what you are doing, just without the religious aspects? Inconsistentcy is the sign of a failed argument.

3) “The plain truth is that we are a secular state. We HAVE to be that, because we are a diverse state, a state made up of everybody from the holiest of rollers to seriously backslid Methodists like me.”

I agree. However, I don’t believe one may argue successfully that the modern notion of secularism is what the Framers had in mind. The State is secular just as my employment is secular or my building models is secular. However, to say that the Framers would not allow the Creator and His moral law into public discourse is simply absurd.

4) “It ought to be troubling to you, because it’s a false equivalency and a particularly cruel one at that.”

You wrote exactly what I said every homosexual advocate has written against my position. Yet I never equivocated homosexuality with Bestiality anymore than I equated it with any and all forms of polygamy.

What I said was that the moral foundations for such views are the same. Feet firmly planted in mid-air. So once again, I receive nothing of substance at ths point. This is a pure emtional argument.

5) “So the government is required by law to stay out of the religion business. This means that you cannot use your religious test calling homosexuality evil as a basis for a law.”

This is quite convenient. You get the define the parameters of the debate, yet you have no moral position to do so. If someone says homosexulaity is evil and offers sound argumentation, you get to say, “It is not evil and anybody who says it is evil is scary.” Therefore, you win the argument before it even starts and you have no basis for doing so. That my friend is far scarier than anything the political right is attempting to do.

I know of no Christian or conservative that wishes to empower the State to enter bedrooms. That would be far more dangerous than some homosexual man that lives next door. Nevertheless, redefining society based upon a twisting of the created order to the point of being totally backwards is not going to last.

6) “The funny thing is, they ALL say they’re right. The Christians (all 38000 denominations), the Muslims, the Hindus, the Goths, all claim to know something which is unknowable. Even if it was knowable, simple logic should tell you that you can’t ALL be right.”

I find this statement’s presuppositions to simply be irrational. Again, you get to define morality based in mid-air, and that’s demanded upon me to believe. You also get to redefine knowledge and epistemology in such a way that we can’t know anything except what you believe. Marginalizing your political opponents is the only way your position will stand.

It has been good to speak with you. I do hope we part ways on good terms.

God Bless, Sir.

Howard

59 William W. Wexler July 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Howard,

I find you to be one of the most delightful, thoughtful, and skillful persons I’ve ever had the fun and privilege to debate this point (and ancillary ones, too!) with.

I promise to give you an answer when I have a bit more time, time is tight today. Please pardon me if I misread your statement regarding bestiality. I usually do this kind of thing in the morning and sometimes the meds I take kick in before the coffee does. :-)

In the words of the Governator, “I’ll be baaack!”

Cheers,
Wexler

60 Darrin July 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

What amazes me most is that they allowed Beck to portray Whitefield in a positive light: How could Caner and all the other semi-Pelagians at LU tolerate that?!

61 Howard July 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I appreciate the compliment. As usual, I look forward to your future posts. I enjoy discussions with atheists that actually believe something than most of the postmodern jellyfish that surround me at work and ect.

62 Howard July 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I think I may need to calrify a point. Although I think the U.S. has had a so-called Christian culture, I do not mean to insinuate that our nation’s Christian culture and subcultures are the only Christian forms of culture. There have been many nations down through the centuries that have had Christian cultures that look nothing like ours. That is perhaps one of the overlooked points that cause so many to criticize (perhaps rightfully so) Christians as being arrogant.

I also want to be clear that so-called Christendom should not be equated with Christianity.

I am not certain (intellectually speaking) why people, who redefine Christianity (such as your family), want to bear the Name Christian. If you redefine boyscouts to be made up of all girl members, then it would be silly to call it boyscouts. Your Lutheran ordained sister should just join a group that does something similar. Everybody wants that “Name” and everybody wants to be culturally relevant. It is frustrating, but we have to live with it I guess.

63 William W. Wexler August 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

OK, I have just a quick minute and I’m hoping that Howard will be notified and come back for an answer. First, apologies for letting this go so long.

OK, I’m not sure what you mean when you draw a distinction between Christendom and Christianity. Please explain that if you could.

Also, the California court threw Prop 8 in the garbage (where it belongs, in my opinion.) Thoughts? It appears that LGBT marriage rights are indeed considered to be a human right, a civil right, and therefore it will be defended by the state. If the Christian right (and the Mormon cult) can’t prohibit this legally, what’s next? It seems to me that LGBTs are becoming much more normalized into our society, and therefore this issue will have almost zero political clout here shortly.

I just read that Ann Coulter will be hosting an event for gay conservatives shortly.

-Wexler

64 Howard August 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Howdy again Wexler,

1) “what you mean when you draw a distinction between Christendom and Christianity. Please explain that if you could”

Christianity is not the culture or the state. Yet historically, many nations are considered Christian due to different factors. For instance a nation may be considered Christian even though they are only christian due to a past influence of Christianity.

Germany was once the center of the Protestant Reformation. Yet it has nothing to do with the Church today. A muslim however, may see Germany as being Christian because a Muslim sees the “West” as Christian even though it is clearly not.

2) “It appears that LGBT marriage rights are indeed considered to be a human right, a civil right, and therefore it will be defended by the state.”

The judge’s decision to overthrow our political process is nothing to rejoice over. The judge’s reasoning was clearly irrational and demonstrates that the judgment of God is already among us. She is the mechanism by which we are being judged.

As I have argued many times, the LGBT can’t even begin to justify their immorality and redefinition of the created order. This debate is not about the other side getting equal rights. You may be hearing it here first, but they must eliminate the “other” side. Bible believing Christians and anyone that still recognizes morality comes from the Creator, must be suppressed due to the fact homosexuals will not allow their consciences to be reminded of their evil and sin. Simply saying homosexuality is normal because some judge says so is a violation of the foundation of our nations laws. It is truly a dark road we are traversing.

As Dr. White noted a comment from the judge on his Blog,

“Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”

To which he responds,

“Remember, this is a homosexual making this “finding.” Of course, religious beliefs that relationships between 50 year old men and 8 year old boys are sinful “harm” those poor 50 year old pedophiles, too, so let’s be consistent, shall we? We expect this kind of rhetoric from practicing homosexuals, but to see it being said as if it has something to do with meaningful law only tells us how degraded the judiciary has become.”

For instance the judge also wrote,

“Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”

And on what basis does this irrational statement come from? By what authority does she have to make such a claim and force upon society by fiat?

3) “It seems to me that LGBTs are becoming much more normalized into our society, and therefore this issue will have almost zero political clout here shortly.”

My personal opinion is that this too shall pass. I just hope it doesn’t come to pass via some kind of bizarre civil war. the more the Left pushes, the more you will see the Political right push back.

I also reject the idea that only the religious right thinks this is wrong. I grew up in Massachusetts, where most people are nominal Christians at best and perhaps only cultural christians and many not Christian at all. In my personal experience they will tell you in private that homosexulaity is wrong. But like most of us, they don’t want to empower a state to invade homse over this issue. Yet the LGBT will not rest till they force their immorality upon us all.

So perhaps you are right to some degree with this point. But if you are, then we will cease to be a Republic. And the Thought police will soon be arresting me.

65 William W. Wexler August 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

Thanks for your reply, Howard.

Thank you for explaining your distinction between Christianity and Christendom. I thought we might be getting into a conversation about which “flavor” of Christianity is the “true” form.

If you believe that the US is a secular nation, with a clear division between church and state, I don’t see how you can apply the teachings in the Bible to our laws any more than you can apply the Quran, the I Ching or Marvel Comics. How is this possible? If the state made a law saying that marriage between a man and a woman was illegal, would that be valid?

Of course not. Have you read the entire 138 page ruling? If not, you should, even if it’s just to better arm yourself to argue this with people like me. I have it on the index page of my website (for now) in my article about Glenn Beck and Prop 8.

And, if there ever is such a thing as Thought Police, please let me know where to sign up. I’ll stand beside you to fight that any day.

-Wexler

66 Howard August 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for the comments and questions Wexler.

1) “And, if there ever is such a thing as Thought Police, please let me know where to sign up. I’ll stand beside you to fight that any day.”

I have no doubt you would stand together with me for free speech and have appreciated the tone with which you write (I am certain that I do not come across as such). The thought police is already happening in Cananda. You can be arrested for preaching that homosexuality is wrong. They have secret tribunals and you don’t have the right to face your accuser. As a kid I used to wonder why those laws were written in our laws. Now I see the wisdom by our Framers.

Here in the States, they usually call it diversity training. Although I do think we all need to learn about diversity of cultures and learn to be tolerant, tolerance is not a virtue that allows us to go against conscience on matters of significant moral importance.

2) “If you believe that the US is a secular nation, with a clear division between church and state, I don’t see how you can apply the teachings in the Bible to our laws any more than you can apply the Quran, the I Ching or Marvel Comics. How is this possible? If the state made a law saying that marriage between a man and a woman was illegal, would that be valid?”

If this is the case, then you do not “see” how to justify the secular argument either.

the fact that I distinguish between the secular state and the institution of the church does not mean that I must abandon my beliefs anymore than you abandon your private notions of morality. That is simply an irrational argument. Please read Romans chapter 2 where the Bible clearly teaches that men without the law still practice the law because God has written the law on their hearts.

My religious beliefs tell me you are made in the image of God and your life is worthy of protection under law. Should I ignore that too? The fact that I recognize God’s revelation and allow God to inform me on His moral law in the public sphere simply gives me a sound basis for arguing in the public sphere in the first place.

You need to understand something and probably understand it relatively quickly. Atheism will not stand up to Islam. They will defeat you either by thought or sword. In my opinion, culturally speaking, it is the left overs of a Christian culture that has kept you safe from Islam. But that won’t last forever.

You must understand, that as a Christian, I understand God to be the author of both secular government and the church. He has instituted both institutions. But as a Christian I must also understand that in a secular form of government, non-Christians are going to disagree with me about certain policies. Hey, even Christians disagree about what to do with Big Government verses Big Corporations. Therefore, we must compete in the realm of ideas being careful as to what belongs solely in the church and what laws must govern in the secular. (I think Covenant Theology best gives a framework for such a view, which I think might answer “Which flavor” should be Christian…but….).

3) I want to be clear. You have no basis and have no sound argument that offers a positive moral position for homosexuality. Homosexuals do not even attempt to provide such since they know that their system can’t be rationally consistent and defended. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument.”

So I will say this to be clear, homosexuality is at least as sinful as polygamy between 3 men and 6 women. I have yet to hear a rational counter-argument.

4) “Glenn Beck and Prop 8″

Just so you know, I do not follow Glenn Beck and don’t really care to. I simply don’t have the time to listen to him. I think at times when I have heard him, he can be a little confused. But I am certain one could say the same of me.

Well, this is getting long and I am repeating myself and boring you to tears.

Have a great day, Sir.

God Bless

Howard

67 William W. Wexler August 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Never boring, Howard. Always cogent and thought-provoking.

Thanks for your post, I will respond later when I have more time. (Hopefully not weeks)!

Best,
Wexler

68 Howard August 8, 2010 at 12:06 am

BTW you wrote, “It seems to me that LGBTs are becoming much more normalized into our society”

Although I agree to some extent, the fact that we are having this discussion while a judge strikes down a law passed by…of all places!…California by a margin of nearly 52 to 48 shows that we are still divided on the issue.

A look at the map of how california voted shows that area wide, the majority of California voted for it. It was the bigger and more densely populated cities where people opposed it.

It is the same way here in Kansas. Bigger cities like Lawrence have the colleges that attract liberal professors and students are trained to agree with them. Bigger cities are generally run by liberals. I guess it is the natire of plitical power. It’s not until you grow up and move away from those places (yes, I said grow up to be inflammatory) that one getss away from their powers of influence. That is probably why people like me are thought of as being backwards.

Just a thought.

God Bless

Howard

69 William W. Wexler August 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I posted this earlier but for some reason it didn’t post. So I will try to recreate…

Howard,

Never boring, always insightful, respectful, and invigorating.

I will answer it when I have more time.

-Wexler

PS Unfortunately today’s not the day!

70 William W. Wexler August 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Oh, there it is!

Quick little snack for thought. I live in a very small town in Iowa. I grew up in a very small town in Minnesota. I lived for 10 years in a teensy little town in Texas. So I spent most of my life living in small towns, and my degree (Engineering) is from a very conservative Texas University. (Not UT, the other one).

So my thought when I hear “liberal professors” is that you may have confused “liberal” and “open-minded”. When you go to college, you are supposed to have an open mind, so you may be exposed to different ideas and hopefully learn to do critical thinking.

Conservatism is the practice of holding onto old ideas because they are somehow supposed to be better. If we had always embraced conservatism, think of the backward world we would live in. All the scientific advances and economic gains we’ve had were spurred by progressive thought and actions. This does not mean that progressives are always right, but we believe that there are creative solutions to problems and we believe that citizenship provides us with social cohesiveness that requires us to consider how we all fit together in a pluralistic society.

That’s all for today.

Best,
Wexler

71 Howard August 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Howdy again Wexler,

Thanks for the thoughts. Using terms like liberal and conservative is problematic. For instance, I disagree with your definition of conservative since although it may be true to some degree, it is not always true. For instance I would appear to you as a Conservative, but to Fundamentalists, I probably appear liberal. I happen to agree with Robert Bork’s belief as articulated in his book Slouching Toward Gomorrah, that most conservatives are really “classical liberals”.

As for the open-mindedness, I am not really open-minded and don’t pretend to be. I don’t think anyone is. Now that is different from going to college and having what you believe challenged and having to defend your beliefs rationally.

For instance, although I have not gone to college, I have read many books over the years. I used to be of a very different theological persuasion. I used to hold to Dispensationalism. I now hold to Covenant Theology. When I was younger, I used to be for a woman’s right to choose abortion. I now reject that notion as irrational. So confusing categories or science with the revolution of our form of government is a wild thing to argue. Being progressive today means we may ignore the rule of law. I reject such a notion.

Conservatism as being discussed today in politics is really a framework that seeks to retain the framework that allows us to be progressive. “Liberals” wish to abandon the foundation of good government and overthrow it without firing a bullet. So I also agree with Bork that we had our second civil war in the 60s. I just also happen to think that civil war has not ended. We are in the midst of a revolution. It just happens to be the overthrow of our Constitution.

“social cohesiveness that requires us to consider how we all fit together in a pluralistic society”

I simply do not see Liberalism/Leftism as really doing this. They are disguising their intentions with rhetoric such as this, but they have no intentions of unifying us in any fashion. They seek to divide and conquer. The odd thing is that we have had recent revolutions (think eastern Europe) that have made the same arguments, and what those people got was more than they bargained for.

72 Howard August 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Wexler,

I thought you might find this Christian Libertarian’s view of “Christendom” helpful. Although, I am certain some of my Fundamentalist friends may think me liberal for linking such an article.

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2010/08/shadows-and-foreshadowing-at-nagasaki.html#links

73 Howard August 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I forgot to link to this article which might help you to understand my views on homosexuality. This portion I think is worth quoting.

“Did the evidence actually change [that caused homosexuality to be considered normal]? This psychotherapist argued that social acceptance of homosexuality had actually reduced the external pressures on homosexuals making them less repressed and allowing them to become better adjusted. Perhaps, but does that change the evidence? No. Just because libertine elites have succeeded in intimidating us into no longer saying what we know to be true doesn’t mean that the truth is not the truth. Just because we’ve decided that a dangerous and aberrant behavior pattern is now socially acceptable doesn’t change whether it is fundamentally contrary to the nature of creation.”

74 Howard August 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm
75 Quinlan August 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Howard:

I find your comments to be as disgusting as they are hypocritical. You say you understand that this isn’t a Christian nation, and the separation between church and state. But then you’re talking about taking rights away from gay people, and rights away from women to get an abortion. These things are BOTH religious principles. If your opinion is strictly due to religion, then you are not allowed to impose that on others. Under the constitution, you are not allowed to use your phony god to take rights away from every day, law abiding people.

About LGBTs – The entire idea that people who like to have different types of sex than you are immoral is just ridiculous. Face the facts: you take your “morals” from an ancient story-book – incidentally, one that is full of lies and violence. I don’t care whether or not your Bible preaches against gay people (which many say it doesn’t), either way you can’t use a religious text to revoke rights. That’s against our constitution in more ways than one.

Atheistically yours,
Quinn

76 Howard August 9, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Howdy Quinn,

1) “I find your comments to be as disgusting as they are hypocritical.”

That’s because you set yourself up as the standard, and you haven’t even begun to read what I have said. It is irrational to argue in the fashion you have done.

Simply because I believe in the separation of church and state does not mean God’s truth somehow disappears anymore than your own private notions of morality disappears when you go into the public square.

Think with me, sir, about your own position. If the Bible is just a book of myths written by men to set up some moral system, how is that different from your own morals. In other words, the morals of the bible aren’t really religious at all under your view. They are just morals in a religious system. you however, don’t cloak your morals in a religious system. Therefore they are both morals or ethical systems developed by men.

In conclusion, how can you impose your moral view over anyone else? You can’t, and that is why you are irrational.

2) “you’re talking about taking rights away from gay people, and rights away from women to get an abortion”

I haven’t taken away rights from anyone. The entire premise is absurd and irrational and emtional. Women don’t have a right to murder anyone. The Creator has created the creation and has defined how things work. Feminism is a philosophy which seeks to pervert the role of creation in order to recreate the world in the manner they desire. That, Sir, is the myth you believe.

3) “The entire idea that people who like to have different types of sex than you are immoral is just ridiculous.”

Another irrational statement you can’t even begin to defend. You just assert it and frame the debate so that the ther side is marginalized.

4) “These things are BOTH religious principles”

This proves you haven’t read a thing I have written, or if you have, you have such blind emotion barriers that you are completely unable and unwilling to interact with the truth of what I have said.

5) “If your opinion is strictly due to religion”

Sir, simply because I am a presuppositionalist, does not mean I reject the idea that men ought to know the law of their Creator outside of the Bible. Again, you haven’t read what I have said because you are simply trying to rouse the emotions without being rational.

Your entire response is the typical homosexual style of non-argument that is intended to shame/marginalize people into a corner. You simply beat people up by shouting and winning the debate before the substance may really be examined. I am willing to bet your arguments have never been about defending homosexuality rationally. I don’t think you really care to either.

I truly hope the Triune God blesses you with repentance in your thinking.

Trinitarianly yours,

Howard

77 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 12:27 am

How about instead of calling me irrational with every other sentence, you tell me exactly why it is that I’m wrong? Kinda hypocritical.

When I go to the town square, I DO take my morals with me. But the difference is, I’m allowed to use my morals to vote because my morals a) do not stem from religion, and b) do not involve alienating rights.

God has no truth, the same way that Thor has no truth and Krishna has no truth. They’re all man-made ideas, formed in times when there was little scientific evidence to contradict them. Another big factor in their creation and perpetuation is fear – primarily of death.

You’re right that no woman has a right to murder. But every woman has a right to an abortion.

How about this for morals – you have to eat a baby gopher’s left leg every second Tuesday, because my magic book says so. I’m going to go ahead and force that on millions of people that believe something to the contrary. By your logic, I should be allowed to do that.

And again, hypocrisy. You talk of God in the same sentence as removing rights. You need to take your religion, and separate it firmly from our government. If you want to change policy, you need to come up with a rational reason – one that stands firmly above competing ones, and one that has absolutely nothing to do with God.

And actually, it’s your side that fails in the LGBT argument. You always spew the same lines of BS – “It’s against God’s will, they’ll harm straight couples, think of the children.” As proven during the Prop 8 trial, we have no problem deconstructing any and all of your arguments in a legal and rational context. Bring it on, and I will tell you exactly why you’re on the wrong side of the law on every single count.

Yeah, and I hope George the sky fairy grants you infinite succor.
Quinn

78 Howard August 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Howdy Quinn,

1) “you tell me exactly why it is that I’m wrong? Kinda hypocritical.”

I did. You are not listening/reading what was said or has been said. Perhaps I am communicating poorly. It seems though that Wexler has not the problem you are having.

2) “I hope George the sky fairy grants you infinite succor.”

Your hatred is what causes you to not be able to reason. You keep assuming your right and that’s it. For instance you wrote,

“you need to come up with a rational reason – one that stands firmly above competing ones, and one that has absolutely nothing to do with God”

Yet how do you account for reason? Nobody knows. Why should I accept your premise? Because you said so. So might makes right is the foundation for your position.

3) Why should I reason apart from God? Because you say so. Yet if God is the Creator of all things and knowledge comes from Him, seems silly to cut oneself from the very source of knowledge.

4) You call me hypocritical yet I proposed an argument that according to your position, religion is just man made. Therefore any ethical system is also man-made. Why should we accept your ethical system over some else’s?

You seem to be arguing that you have reason as the ultimate guide. But again, thata assumess what you are trying to prove. You are assuming rationalism (of some sort). I reject your assumption that you are unable to even begin to demonstrate.

5) “How about this for morals – you have to eat a baby gopher’s left leg every second Tuesday, because my magic book says so.”

To be honest, here is a hypocritical position. You have no real substantive way of refuting such poor ethics other than, you say so. You think your position is able to deal with this moral dillema while mine can not. You assume that my position is that God is some creature similar to Thor.

Personally, I do not care if a believer in Thor enters the public arena or an atheist. I believe both positions are irrational as you have so strongly demonstrated so far.

God Bless

Howard

79 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

What I’m really interested in is the LGBT argument, and you failed to respond to that.

The reason that my morals triumph over yours is because my morals, like I said, do not involve taking away rights. Even if I did draw my morals from God, it would be okay to use them if they did not involve oppression. Oppression is unconstitutional, just as much so as using religion to oppress.

Your argument from God has absolutely no legal standing, it seems that you’re having trouble understanding that. By reason in a legal context, I mean an understandable position that has absolutely nothing to do with religion, or lack thereof. We need to leave religion out of the legal system completely, this is guaranteed to us by the constitution.

I never said that God is along the same lines as Thor. I’m simply saying that they’re equally unprovable, and irrelevant in terms of politics.

80 Mark August 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm
81 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Mark-

It’s not very nice to write an article without permission. Luckily I don’t object. Here’s the thing: gay marriage was a right. It was legal in California, and then Proposition 8 came and took it away. So a right was taken away, that simple. In terms of all the “God is a figment of the imagination” stuff – yes, he is, and you actually make a good point. But the problem is, it’s what’s called an “irrational basis”. When you have no reason other than a religious principle for voting for something, that’s the term that they use. That’s one of the reasons that Prop 8 was stricken down. You can use the principles that may currently stem from religion, but you have to bee free of that religion before you do. You need to have an understandable reason, free of religion and animus, to vote for something and have it count. It’s pretty simple.

82 Howard August 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Howdy again,

1) “What I’m really interested in is the LGBT argument, and you failed to respond to that.”

That’s because you defined the framework of the debate as to miss my response. You simply will not accept anything that goes against your position. You stated, “Your argument from God has absolutely no legal standing”

That’s the premise I challenged. I reject your basis for morality and the foundation for law.

2) “Even if I did draw my morals from God, it would be okay to use them if they did not involve oppression.”

Again, this defines the psition you take prior to the argument. It is assumed that marriage may be redefined to frame the debate that saying homosexuality is wrong is oppression. My religion informs me that adultery is wrong whether one holds it for religiouss reasons or not.

Again I find the basis of your argument irrational. You get to define what is legal and oppression and you have no foundation for doing so.

The fact that you don’t like the Natural Law argument simply means that you reject our presuppositions.

3) “I never said that God is along the same lines as Thor. I’m simply saying that they’re equally unprovable, and irrelevant in terms of politics.”

And I find your position for Rationalism equally unprovable.

God Bless

Howard

83 Howard August 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm

“Here’s the thing: gay marriage was a right. It was legal in California, and then Proposition 8 came and took it away.”

This assumes that the basis of rights comes from the state? If that is the case, then this argument is fallacious from the start. Our Constitution starts with the premise that rights come from God. Governments are formed to secure them, not give them. It also assumes that California was securing a God given right, which I doubt. And Of course that assumes the basis of the constitution is the Declaration. And of course, you are referring to the State of California.

“You can use the principles that may currently stem from religion, but you have to bee free of that religion before you do”

Depending upon what you mean free from the stem of religion, I reject the basis of the argument as you seem to define it.

God Bless

Howard

84 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm

So basically, you’re just saying that you don’t have a reason other than religion to oppose gay marriage, do I understand that correctly?

By oppression, I don’t mean you thinking homosexuality is wrong. By oppression, mean you taking rights away from them. Oppression is when a powerful group suppresses a less powerful one.

I do have a rational basis for defining what is legal and what is oppression. My basis for oppression is the dictionary. And my basis for legal is the law. It’s that simple.

85 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm

The state is here to both give rights, and protect rights that are INHERENT. Not God-given. You don’t need a god to know not to steal or murder. As a human, those are just instincts. Because of the separation of church and state, your entire argument has no ground. The establishment clause states pretty clearly that religion cannot be involved in politics. In your opinion, you are saying that it’s wrong because of god. If that’s what you believe, fine, but it has no legal standing based on the constitution.

86 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Your entire basis of God-given rights fails, plain and simple. If god gives the right to life, then why does he allow disease? Why does he allow murders and executions? You see, an all powerful god could simply give everybody whatever rights he wanted, and the state would have no ability whatsoever to interfere. And for that reason, the idea of God-given rights is completely irrational.

87 Howard August 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Ummm, your argument assumes to much. But even if we grant its premise, let’s assuem that state grants the right to life instead, does that mean there should be no murder because the state said so?

The fact that there is a created order and we defy that created order does not mean there can’t be a created order. Your argument seems to assume that the state can’t be the means by which God has chosen to uphold a form of justice by human judges, however imperfect in this evil age. And that there is no ultimate justice that is perfect.

Your argument also assumes there can be no creative decree verses a decree by which all events both good and evil may come to pass in the purposes of God.

It also assumes everybody that has come before you never thought of your argument. Jesus must of been some ignorant hick, or He never gave your argument consideration because it assumes a worldview that is irrational.

If human rights are not based by God in the created order, ie: natural law, then you have no basis for law to begin with. It becomes might makes right.

88 Howard August 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

“The state is here to both give rights, and protect rights that are INHERENT. Not God-given. You don’t need a god to know not to steal or murder. As a human, those are just instincts.”

No. I reject the false premise that the state gives rights. That is a dangerous idea.

But I do accept the premise that you don’t need to know God to know murder is wrong. But you do know that a God exists because your conscience informs you that murder is wrong. That is why the state exists.

As one Christian libertarian argued, if we lived in an age without sin, we would have no state. Instead we would be governed in our hearts directly by God as the angels are. Instead, we live in an age of sin, until the age to come comes, then we must have a human government to secure the law of God.

2) “The establishment clause states pretty clearly that religion cannot be involved in politics”

No, it does no such thing. What you mean by religion seems to be everything that one believe religiously as opposed to the facets of religion that must be accepted by all men. see Romans 2. The Establishment clause simply means that there is no State Church. The State can’t tax you nor force you to attend say the Mormon Church or Baptist church. It really is that simple.

3) I have already stated what I mean by the separation of church and state elsewhere. Your fpremise assumes far more than the Framers intention.

89 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm

My basis for law is what is fair. It’s that simple. And don’t go giving me some line about “who decides what is fair”, because the answer is: a judge(s) and jury. That’s what the judicial system is for. They’re not always right in terms of fairness, but they’re usually right in terms of constitutionality. That’s why they’ve ruled against religion so much.

I’ve got a host of reasons against God if you’d like to hear them. But really, I think that would be a waste of time because you seem to be too far gone. What’s not a waste of time is discussing whether religion should be allowed in government. I keep bringing up the establishment clause, and I haven’t heard you comment on that specifically.

What makes you think it’s the Christian church that can influence the law? How about we all give over to Islamic law and stone our women for no good reason? Buddhist law, and sit around meditating? Secular humanist law, and sit around being rational and tolerant of each other? Wait, that last one doesn’t belong…

90 Quinlan August 10, 2010 at 10:46 pm

“I reject the false premise that the state gives rights. That is a dangerous idea.”

You can reject all the facts you want, that doesn’t make them untrue. Ever heard of the Bill of Rights? That’s what’s known as the state granting us rights. I also don’t care what you think is a dangerous idea. I think religion is a dangerous idea, but I don’t reject it because it still exists.

What you call the conscience is simply the mind. The idea that one needs to believe in god to have a mind is ridiculous.

Sin according to whom? Since this isn’t a Christian nation, not according to the Christians. Again, your concept of Christian sin has no place in the political world because of the rational basis argument among others.

The establishment clause also specifies that no one religion will be preferred over another. There goes your idea of Christian morals in politics.

91 Resequitur August 10, 2010 at 11:45 pm

You didn’t mention the standard you are trying to judge God by.

92 Resequitur August 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm

(sorry missed your last comment)

“My basis for law is what is fair. It’s that simple. And don’t go giving me some line about “who decides what is fair”, because the answer is: a judge(s) and jury. That’s what the judicial system is for. They’re not always right in terms of fairness, but they’re usually right in terms of constitutionality. That’s why they’ve ruled against religion so much.”

You just contradicted yourself. First you say your standard is the judge and jury’s standard. Then you turn around and say “They are not always right in what they do”. You compared them to another standard of what is and isn’t fair outside of theirs.

“I’ve got a host of reasons against God if you’d like to hear them. But really, I think that would be a waste of time because you seem to be too far gone. What’s not a waste of time is discussing whether religion should be allowed in government. I keep bringing up the establishment clause, and I haven’t heard you comment on that specifically.”

and God has a host of reasons in Scripture why your standards don’t work.

“What makes you think it’s the Christian church that can influence the law? How about we all give over to Islamic law and stone our women for no good reason? Buddhist law, and sit around meditating? Secular humanist law, and sit around being rational and tolerant of each other? Wait, that last one doesn’t belong…”

Whether the Christian church influences the law or not, God governs human establishment. Whether they want Him to or not

93 taco August 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm

“My basis for law is what is fair.” In an atheistic worldview? What does fair even mean? Fair for you or fair for some other person? Surely you don’t mean that there is an objective standard to appeal to do you?

Feel free to discuss this here.
http://www.choosinghats.com/?page_id=30

94 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

1. It’s not that I contradicted myself. They decide what is fair – even though, in my opinion, they’re not always right.

2. I’ve also got a host of reasons as to why the majority of scripture is BS. Would you like to hear them?

3. Well, maybe God does govern human law. Or maybe Thor does, or maybe Krishna does, or maybe Anubis does. Or maybe none of them does. We can’t prove any way, but the evidence points to the latter.

95 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:04 am

In an atheistic worldview, fair means just and appropriate. Oppression is not fair. Lying is not fair. It’s best to arrive at a compromise between multiple parties, but sometimes one is just blatantly in the wrong. In terms of not being objective, that’s what the judicial system is for.

I’m not going to your thread to discuss anything, I’m debating on enough sites as it is.

96 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:07 am

For that matter, what’s fair in a Christian worldview? There are so man breakaway sects of Christianity. Some say gays are immoral, some say they are not. Some say types of sex are immoral, some say they’re not.

Did you know that the Bible says that eating shrimp is an abomination (right before it says that homosexuality is?)? Did you know that The Bible says that wearing mixed fibers is an abomination? So, if you want to say that homosexuality is wrong, then you’d better strip down and put away your cocktail right now.

97 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 12:12 am

“1. It’s not that I contradicted myself. They decide what is fair – even though, in my opinion, they’re not always right.”

Right according to whose standard?

“2. I’ve also got a host of reasons as to why the majority of scripture is BS. Would you like to hear them?”

Well you would need an objective standard to measure what is and isn’t BS to weigh that by. If you don’t, then its subjective. If its subjective, then it has no actual binding on reality, meaning we don’t have to care.

“3. Well, maybe God does govern human law. Or maybe Thor does, or maybe Krishna does, or maybe Anubis does. Or maybe none of them does. We can’t prove any way, but the evidence points to the latter.”

By which standard of evidence? The Triune God’s revelation, or yours?

98 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:18 am

1. Right in terms of my standard. In that sentence I was speaking strictly opinion, not law. I was simply sharing my personal opinion, which holds no more weight than yours.

2. My standard is scientific and observable fact.

3. Your God has next to no scientific evidence supporting him, and that’s why he’s rejected by almost every single member of the scientific community. Almost all (if not all) scientific fact and evidence points to the nonexistence of a god.

99 taco August 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

“just” by what standard?
“appropriate” by what standard?
“Oppression” by what standard?
“wrong” by what standard?
“Judicial system” – They often contradict each other.

How about just trying to justify the athesitic view of “fair” first?

100 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:27 am

Before I go into depth on this, let’s see if I can stop from wasting some time: the atheistic idea of fair is usually along the same lines as the U.S.’s idea of fair. Because of the separation of church and state, the US has usually made the right decisions by atheists, including keeping religious symbols and teachings out of schools, courtrooms, and public grounds. This also includes reversing decisions made solely on the basis of religion, such as Prop 8.

101 C.L. Bolt August 11, 2010 at 12:31 am

“1. Right in terms of my standard. In that sentence I was speaking strictly opinion, not law. I was simply sharing my personal opinion, which holds no more weight than yours.”

Let’s call your “standard” what it is – subjective opinion. There is no standard on your view. You even admit this when you state that your personal opinion holds no more weight than another. However in stating this principle you assume the very opposite of what the statement affirms – a contradiction.

“2. My standard is scientific and observable fact.”

Since this contradicts what you just stated in 1, since statement 2 is not scientific or observable, and since there is no scientific and observable fact which supports 2 I do not really have much reason to take you seriously here either. You are quite inconsistent.

“3. Your God has next to no scientific evidence supporting him,”

Aside from the fact that this is a false and unsupported (note – mere) assertion it may be necessary to let you know that scientific evidence – whatever that is – is not the only means of knowledge.

“…and that’s why he’s rejected by almost every single member of the scientific community.”

Argumentum ad populum.

“Almost all (if not all) scientific fact and evidence points to the nonexistence of a god.”

There are so many problems with this (note – mere) assertion that I would grow weary responding.

I can see why you refuse to engage people in real time.

102 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:36 am

I refuse to engage people in real time? How about this buddy: you give me the address of a live chat application, and I will meet you there, and I will beat you there.

No, no, and no again. I was addressing two different types of standard, and you think that they are the same. My opinion is simply my own standard which holds no weight. The other standard is the state’s standard, which holds all the weight in the world.

Go ahead and tell me what scientific evidence that God has going for him. Bet you I can deconstruct most, if not all of it.

103 C.L. Bolt August 11, 2010 at 12:40 am

taco provided you with the link.

104 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:43 am

I didn’t actually click it before, I assumed it was another thread. But now that I do, I still don’t want to use that one. Its terms of use are specifically against me – it doesn’t allow blasphemy, which is basically what I’m all about. If you want to give me a link to a basic chat room without bias, I’ll do that.

105 Ryft Braeloch August 11, 2010 at 12:44 am

Looking forward to seeing you in #ChoosingHats, Quinlan.

106 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 12:44 am

” My standard is scientific and observable fact.Your God has next to no scientific evidence supporting him, and that’s why he’s rejected by almost every single member of the scientific community. Almost all (if not all) scientific fact and evidence points to the nonexistence of a god.”

First of all science deals with that which is natural, so to deny the existence of something which is super natural begs the question.

Second of all the Scientific method simply assumed the uniformity of nature for predication and experimentation, yet cannot give an account to why nature is uniform. This is arbitrary. The Scriptures tell us that God has created the universe to be uniform, and He, by His providence, has decreed by his Perfect Counsel, everything that will come to pass ((Is. 14:26-27; Eph. 1:11). Ultimately Scientific predication must presuppose ( subconsciously so) the Triune God of the Scripture.

Third of all Scientific predication assumes that something can be known about nature, why? This belief is also arbitrary, it cannot give account to why something can be known, it must first assume something can be known to prove something can be known. Scripture tells us that God created us in His image , (Gen 1)for His glory, and for us to give Him due praise. According to Romans 1:19-20

“what can be known about God is plain to them (unbelievers), because God has shown it to them”
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

In your rebellion to your Creator you come up with these inconsistencies. The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard you try to reason autonomously from God, you will fail. This is God’s universe and He has revealed the way He deals with it and us here in the Scriptures and Ultimately in Christ. He also reveals our sinful nature and how it affects our reasoning. Sin needs to be atoned for, and has been Through Christ Jesus. Your “scientific method” doesn’t tell you that.

107 Ryft Braeloch August 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

“My argument is bankrupt if I can’t swear.” Uh, what? Did you just invent a new fallacy, Proof by Profanity?

108 C.L. Bolt August 11, 2010 at 12:49 am

You should say what you mean. You do not want a chat room without bias; you want a chat room with your bias. Judging from your “argument” here it does seem that blasphemy would be about all you would have to offer. That is a shame. I pray that God would open your eyes to the self-contradictory folly of your words and bring you to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

109 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:49 am

You can’t use scripture to prove your science. It’s fiction being used to support fact, it doesn’t work like that. Give me some real, scientific, observable evidence, that supports the idea of God.

To some extent I can agree with the whole natural vs. supernatural thing. But, even omitting scientific evidence, what about logical evidence? Example: why would an all-powerful, loving god allow an innocent baby to die of disease?

110 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 12:53 am

No. Give me a basic chatroom. Just a chat application. No bias either way, no political leanings. Just a chatroom. I will be there, I promise.

Blasphemy is different than profanity. Get your vocabulary straight.

111 C.L. Bolt August 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

“You can’t use scripture to prove your science.”

Says who? You? Oh that’s your opinion and it’s equally as valid as mine. So I don’t care. By the way, you cannot use science to prove your science either because that is viciously circular.

“It’s fiction being used to support fact, it doesn’t work like that.”

Atheism is fiction. See, I can do it too!

“Give me some real, scientific, observable evidence, that supports the idea of God.”

I thought we had already gone over this? How about some real, scientific, observable evidence that supports the idea that we need some real, scientific, observable evidence for any belief?

“why would an all-powerful, loving god allow an innocent baby to die of disease?”

Because his lovingness is not the same as your’s (thank God). Let me turn it around and ask you why He would not?

Oh by the way I thought you wanted to go somewhere unbiased? Blasphemy isn’t allowed here either you know.

112 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 1:07 am

“You can’t use science to prove science.”

Well, that’s just ignorance. The entire point of the scientific method is to use fact and supportable theory to make assertions. Facts being used to prove or support facts, that’s the very core of science.

“Atheism is fiction.”

Right. Atheists believe in talking snakes and people being swallowed by whales (and surviving).

Why would somebody not kill a baby? What kind of messed up question is that man? What kind of person are you?

I didn’t realize blasphemy isn’t allowed here. It was my partner that linked me here because he thought I’d want to weigh in. I never read your terms of use, and for that I do apologize. A bit late to up and leave though, don’t you think?

By the way, my latest comment about the chatroom still hasn’t been approved. It’s not that I’m ignoring that, it’s just the moderator not acting on it yet.

113 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 1:22 am

To the webmaster:

If you have a problem with the way I’m posting on your board, let me know: qu1n1an@glennbeckreport.com .

I don’t want to go against your terms of service or anything, that wasn’t my intention. I think it’s important for any opinion forum to have multiple points of view.

114 William W. Wexler August 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

I have been reading the posts above as I am subscribed to this thread. A few comments….

First, it is clear that the debate is going nowhere because you are in disagreement about general terms like “scientific”, bias, “know”, and many others that are common English words.

Second, I am struck by the pejorative and accusatory tone coming primarily from the Christian side of this discussion. It seems to me that you ought to be able to discuss this idea in a civil manner. Quinlan has been civil, in my opinion, but even if he wasn’t, shouldn’t you be? One of the primary messages of Christianity is love. It would be great if everybody practiced it.

Third, you Christians seem to be arguing from the position that you have a corner on moral values. That’s a bit presumptive, don’t you think? Considering that there are 32,000 different Christian denominations with moral interpretations all over the map, how can you argue that you somehow are just right about moral issues because you KNOW you are right because you KNOW the UNKNOWABLE?

Fourth, Quinlan believes that his comments are now being moderated. If that’s so, why? For expressing ideas that you find uncomfortable? That’s not a very good commentary about the strength of your convictions.

I said from the outset that I wasn’t here to try to change anyone’s religious beliefs. Quinlan and I are both atheists, and he is willing to defend and debate his point of view on this subject. As I may have stated previously, we don’t agree on everything. My interest in religion only goes as far as it affects politics and public policy. I see that this thread has skirted around that issue now and then but I would be more prone to join in if you were talking about one issue in depth.

I find it very weird to be an atheist chiding Christians about civility on their own board. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but I am telling you the truth as I understand it.

Peace,

Wexler

115 Mark August 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

Wexler,

Quinlan’s comments are not being moderated and none have been captured by the filter. As you mention “pejorative and accusatory” just remember that in Quinlan’s first comment here he used the words ‘disgusting’, ‘hypocritical’, ‘ridiculous’ and called the Bible a story-book that is full of lies. I do understand his position, but it was his first comment.

In discussions like this the definition of things like science does come up. Often times “science” is assumed to answer questions, but when one relies upon science to prove science a definition of terms is needed. Or a clarification on how science is used.

Of course, Christians believe they have the corner on moral values. The 32,000 denomination number is incorrect, but that’s another discussion. This does not mean that we agree 100% upon all values. Just as 1,000,000 atheists who must turn to self for their moral basis aren’t going to agree on everything.

The larger picture is that you and Quinlan are here to argue for your moral position which you think is superior to that of the Christians’ here. I would hope anyone arguing for their position in anything believes they are correct or why put an argument forward?

116 William W. Wexler August 11, 2010 at 11:27 am

Yes, Mark, but I’m not arguing for atheism.

I am trying to find out what you, as a Christian, think of Beck, a Mormon, not only setting foot on your campus, but stepping up to the podium on Commencement Day.

I agree with Quinlan’s comments about homophobic beliefs. 100%. I think it’s disgusting that we live in a nation that is supposed to be secular yet we have religious organizations hiding behind tax exempt status while working to deny equal rights to every citizen. It is a human right to choose your spouse. That is an undeniable fact, it is your right independent of what anyone else believes about it. It is also a woman’s right to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to full term. This has been upheld in the courts and although I do not personally like the idea of abortion, it is the law of the land and I definitely see the woman’s point of view on this. It’s their body. The pregnancy is something they have to deal with, not the church.

I have now wandered into an area which I do not want to go. If you have any comments about Beck, I would love to hear those.

Peace,
Wexler

117 Darrin August 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

“It is a human right to choose your spouse.”
Really? From whence did that right spring?
“It’s their body.”
No, it isn’t. That’s the point. They’re not destroying their own body, but the other distinct person’s inside them.
“If you have any comments about Beck, I would love to hear those.” Well, I’m not Mark, but for what it’s worth, I think it was unwise to have him speak. I would guess that popularity and morality trumped theology and truth in this case. Sadly it doesn’t much alarm me though, given the university’s and much of the SBC’s sloppy doctrine.
Thanks for your time.

118 William W. Wexler August 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Hi, Darrin,

The human right to choose your spouse is one of those truths we hold to be self-evident. It comes from where all human rights come from; a covenant that we keep with each other as citizens of this nation.

Well, I don’t think we’re going to agree about abortion so let’s not go there. Sorry I brought it up.

Thanks for your comment about Glenn speaking at Liberty. Can you amplify a bit on the “morality” part of what trumped theology and truth?

Best regards, and

Peace,
Wexler

119 Mark August 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

My apologies to Quinlan. I found two comments in the pending folder. I was checking the spam folder. I so rarely get real comments that are captured I overlooked it. Just note that it was not my doing, but the automated filters. There was probably a word it did not like.

120 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm

“Well, that’s just ignorance. The entire point of the scientific method is to use fact and supportable theory to make assertions. Facts being used to prove or support facts, that’s the very core of science.”

The Scientific method does not account for the “fact” of the uniformity of nature, in fact, science doesn’t give justification to the assertion that we come to the truth via science. The anti-theistic scientist must first assume these things, even though they do not accord with his/her worldview. For all experimentation and predication is grounded in the providence of the Triune God as revealed in the Scriptures.

So unless you can give me a reason why your assumptions are not arbitrary then please stop the “Scientific hand waving” you are doing on the board. We’ve all seen it before and it isn’t anything but a smoke screen to cover the cracks in your epistemology

“Right. Atheists believe in talking snakes and people being swallowed by whales (and surviving).”

Atheists also believe in the Uniformity of nature to do science? Why? The Scriptures account for it, do Atheists? nope.

121 Howard August 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Wow! I just checked my inbox and there were 38 emails for posts here. There is no way I’ll be able to read and respond so I thought I woud just respond to this quick one I saw.

“Ever heard of the Bill of Rights? That’s what’s known as the state granting us rights. I also don’t care what you think is a dangerous idea. I think religion is a dangerous idea, but I don’t reject it because it still exists.”

Again, I am not certain what political class one sits in to learn this, but this just is not true. The Bill of Rights is to restrict government from infringing on our God-given rights. These rights did not come from the government. They came from God. And the authors of the Bill of Rights did not want a Federal or any government to take away our fundamental rights. Have you read Clarence Thomas’ recent defense of the 2nd Amendment. This is precisely his argument.

There is too much here and I think we have abandoned the original argument. I am being told repeatedly that I am not answering questions, when I have. Yet when I point out the obvious double standard, that seems to be missed.

I will bow out since I easily get lost in such discussions on a Blog.

Thanks JM for the opportunity, and Mr. Wexler, it was indeed a pleasure to speak with you. If you ever wish to email me, I think I might be able to handle that.

God Bless

Howard

122 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm

In terms of God-given rights, I have to disagree with that vehemently. Since when is the right to bear arms God-given? As far as I’m aware, the idea of God has been around a little bit longer than the idea of firearms. So the idea that God has always given every human the right to bear arms doesn’t make sense. Besides, what about the nations where that’s not a right? Were it God-given, wouldn’t he just step in and smite the people that take it away?

If you’re leaving the thread, I wish you the best. I’m sorry I couldn’t change any of your opinions, but I thank you nonetheless for sticking around to talk to me.
-Quinn

123 Howard August 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I guess I am on the email list, so there is no stopping. Besides, my wife stepped out, and I have a couple of minutes before I get in trouble. :-)

“Since when is the right to bear arms God-given? As far as I’m aware, the idea of God has been around a little bit longer than the idea of firearms.”

I am really not certain what is so difficult about this. First the right to own property and the right to defend yourself and family and property is fundamental to liberty, which is why they sought to secure these right, not give them (that is the language of the Framers BTW). The Framers knew this all too well. Of course firearms are a modern invention. So what?

“Were it God-given, wouldn’t he just step in and smite the people that take it away?”

This presupposition seems to be a stumbling block for you. I am not a typical evanjellycal and neither is Mark. We are of the Reformed faith (think the Protestant Reformation and or Calvinism). We believe God has ordained evil for His purposes. So all evil events have a purpose by God including the Cross and aare purposely decreed to happen by God. Our theology answers your question on the problem of evil. You’ll probably still disagree with it, but I have found some atheists willing to accept that even though they disagree, they find it more consistent.

I did want to point out an agreement. We both agree with using the term secular for the role of government. Where we disagree is that you take it to a level of meaning the Framers never intended. Secular is not to be equivocated with secularism. That is one of your errors.

For example, I get up and go to work with my fellow non-Christian employees. I find myself using the law of God to govern my way of life while living in my secular vocation. I have even had input into things we do that come from my religious views. Yet I am able to distinguish between the Law of God that is for all men in our secular lives as opposed to commands that are strictly for church and believers.

So in conclusion, I am not against a disciple of Zeus standing in the public square saying that murder is wrong according to Zeus and that we should not do it. For he ought to be able to show how Zeus’ law is for all men, and not just followers of Zeus. This is where the Framers use of Natural Law or as commonly termed, the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God is quite profitable.

This is something that Islam can not do by definition. There is no separation of church and state within Islam because there is no seccular as opposed to holy in Islam. They are a cult run by dictators.

In some sense you find this among Roman Catholic countries as well.

Finally, I must confess that I have no idea how atheists and non-atheists of any brand may get along even in a secular society. Fundamentally, we are going to butt heads at some point. Even though we disagree with some laws, we do agree that murder is wrong. Yet the basis for that is so radically different, it causes discussions like this.

God Bless

124 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm

There are so many points that the both of us are bringing up, and frankly I wish I had enough time in the day to give all of them the attention they deserve. Sadly I have a lot of things that need doing, so I’m only going to address the things that I feel more strongly about.

We’re not going to be able to agree with a lot of stuff in terms of the founders. They weren’t as explicit as we would have liked them to have been. I’m glad that you’ll at least say that this isn’t a Christian nation, it’s an inconvenient fact that too many people want to deny.

God- wouldn’t an omnipotent god not have non-evil ways of doing the stuff he wanted to do? I’ve always said, if there is an omnipotent, omniscient god, we don’t need to be loving him, we need to be hating him. Here’s a biblical example: The Bible says that god took the rib of Adam, and whittled it into Eve. Now, couldn’t an omnipotent god just have snapped his fingers and made a woman, rather than ripping out the guy’s rib? That sounds pretty messed up to me. God allows (speaking theoretically here) so many people to be so unhappy. He lets people be miserable enough to kill themselves, and then supposedly sends them into infinite, eternal suffering once they do. Is that the mark of a god worth loving and respecting?

In terms of atheist respect, secular humanists (most atheists are) have a much easier time getting along and respecting each other, because they have no religion that tells them to hate each other. No beliefs involving female inferiority, homophobia, or racism.

Now you say you have nothing against a disciple of Zeus saying that murder is wrong based on his beliefs. But here’s my question – what if, according to the religion, that disciple actually believed that murder was morally right, and preached that? Would you have a problem with that?

125 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm

“God- wouldn’t an omnipotent god not have non-evil ways of doing the stuff he wanted to do? I’ve always said, if there is an omnipotent, omniscient god, we don’t need to be loving him,we need to be hating him”

You need to recognize the Creator-creature distinction, you are trying to judge the Righteous, Just, Perfect, Triune God.

“Here’s a biblical example: The Bible says that god took the rib of Adam, and whittled it into Eve. Now, couldn’t an omnipotent god just have snapped his fingers and made a woman, rather than ripping out the guy’s rib? That sounds pretty messed up to me.”

Why is it messed up that God personally deals with His creation?

“God allows (speaking theoretically here) so many people to be so unhappy. He lets people be miserable enough to kill themselves, and then supposedly sends them into infinite, eternal suffering once they do. Is that the mark of a god worth loving and respecting? ”

Well first of all, as I’ve said before, the sinful man shouldn’t even be judging the the Judge of the Universe, it would be like a perp who just committed murder who is telling the judge who gives him the death sentence “This is unjust!”. But to answer your emotional objections, we’ve caused our own misery when we departed from our Sovereign in the garden. Man traded God’s truth, for the opposer’s (satan’s) lie. And sinned against Him. A Righteous Judge (who must keep the righteous order in the universe) simply cannot let sin go unpunished. So what you see is man getting what he asked for. Being that He hasn’t obliterated the human race, but sent His Son to ransom the church from judgment, then He is full of mercy, patience, kindness and Grace. He is worthy of worship whether you think so or not.

and you still have yet to answer my questions.

126 taco August 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Eugenics much?

127 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 11:02 pm

You’re spouting scripture at me, something I and a whole lot of others see as fiction. I don’t respond to that. How would you feel if I started inserting a chapter of Harry Potter in with every post?

“Why is it messed up that God personally deals with his creation?”

If I ever had a son, that would be my creation, right? Does that give me the right to rip out his rib?

And you see, God is still the guilty and unjust party (theoretically) because he hasn’t given the people that he’s condemning enough opportunity to believe in him. Why does he allow so much evidence to pile up against him? He, as an omnipotent being, has the ability to destroy all of these “lies”.

Please re-state all of your questions so I can answer them together. Thanks.

128 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Not sure what you mean by that. Eugenics, as I understand it, is the idea of selective breeding to “improve” the race. So how does that apply to this?

129 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

\”You’re spouting scripture at me, something I and a whole lot of others see as fiction. I don’t respond to that. How would you feel if I started inserting a chapter of Harry Potter in with every post?\”

uh, how in the world do you expect to critique something you have no idea about.

\”If I ever had a son, that would be my creation, right? Does that give me the right to rip out his rib?\”
If it were your creation, sure. God has plenty right to rip out your rib as He created you.

\”And you see, God is still the guilty and unjust party (theoretically) because he hasn’t given the people that he’s condemning enough opportunity to believe in him. Why does he allow so much evidence to pile up against him? He, as an omnipotent being, has the ability to destroy all of these “lies”.\”

You just don\’t read my arguments do you? Either that or you don\’t follow them. Man *does* know God per Romans 1:18-20. He has revealed Himself to man per creation, The Scriptures, and ultimately His Son. To simply say \”the evidence is against Him\” is simply affirming that you are either 1) Self deceived or 2) Lying.

You have yet to answer my objections to your assumptions, yet I answer your questions and you call it \”Harry Potter Fiction\” I am answering in terms of \”My Worldview\”. Which is the only worldview that predication and experimentation can be made. Any predication you do presupposes the Triune God. So of course you know Him. You need Him to exist to deny Him.

130 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 11:36 pm

\\\\\\\”You’re spouting scripture at me, something I and a whole lot of others see as fiction. I don’t respond to that. How would you feel if I started inserting a chapter of Harry Potter in with every post?\\\\\\\”

uh, how in the world do you expect to critique something you have no idea about.

\\\\\\\”If I ever had a son, that would be my creation, right? Does that give me the right to rip out his rib?\\\\\\\”
If it were your creation, sure. God has plenty right to rip out your rib as He created you.

\\\\\\\”And you see, God is still the guilty and unjust party (theoretically) because he hasn’t given the people that he’s condemning enough opportunity to believe in him. Why does he allow so much evidence to pile up against him? He, as an omnipotent being, has the ability to destroy all of these “lies”.\\\\\\\”

You just don\\\\\\\’t read my arguments do you? Either that or you don\\\\\\\’t follow them. Man *does* know God per Romans 1:18-20. He has revealed Himself to man per creation, The Scriptures, and ultimately His Son. To simply say “the evidence is against Him\\\\\\\” is simply affirming that you are either 1) Self deceived or 2) Lying.

You have yet to answer my objections to your assumptions, yet I answer your questions and you call it \\\\\\\”Harry Potter Fiction\\\\\\\” I am answering in terms of \\\\\\\”My Worldview\\\\\\\”. Which is the only worldview that predication and experimentation can be made. Any predication you do presupposes the Triune God. So of course you know Him. You need Him to exist to deny Him.

131 Quinlan August 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Okay, before I move on to other points, let me get this one thing straight: If I had a son, you think it would be my right to kill him?

132 Resequitur August 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

“Okay, before I move on to other points, let me get this one thing straight: If I had a son, you think it would be my right to kill him?”

according to my worldview, taking the life of another is wrong for us to do. God is the judge and in our rebelling against Him, we are worthy of death.

Why would murder be wrong according to your worldview?

133 William W. Wexler August 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

I had a very busy day today and it looks like y’all did, too.

I am very tired at the moment but I just read through all the posts in my inbox and something jumped out at me.

Somebody posted that it was a man’s right to have a gun and defend his family, in defense of gun rights. Someone said that the Bill of Rights were to prevent the state from infringing on those specific rights.

Why, then, did somebody argue previously that the right to choose your spouse is not a human right? Or, on the other hand, if the state makes a law protecting it, it becomes a protected right doesn’t it? Isn’t that the exact same thing as what has happened with LGBT marriage laws? The state has ruled that it does not have the authority to take this right away from people who want to practice it.

Good evening to all.

Wexler

134 Quinlan August 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ll answer your questions, once I’m satisfied with my understanding of your opinion about this.

So you think I shouldn’t kill my son, but I would have the right to do him permanent bodily harm without causing his death? Of course under my definition circumcision would fit, but that’s another issue, I mean some other kind of permanent disfigurement.

135 William W. Wexler August 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Resequitur,

If you don’t mind, would you please explain a couple of things to me?

First, what is “uniformity of nature” and what does it mean in the context of this discussion? What is a Triune God and how is all experimentation grounded in this Triune God?

I am not sure by what authority you assign all atheists with any particular belief. The way I explain my atheism is that it is a disbelief system, not a belief system. I do not claim to know anything more than anyone else. We all know the same amount. Which is not much.

Thanks in advance, and

Peace,

Wexler

I should tell you that although I am an atheist, I am somewhat versed in Christian theology. I have not heard those phrases used, however.

136 Mark August 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Quinlan, it seems that God has given people enough opportunity to believe in Him as evidenced by the Christians commenting here, for example.

137 Quinlan August 13, 2010 at 12:15 am

See, I disagree with that. I have my own theories, many of which are shared by other atheists, as to why people so readily accept God as reality.

1. Indoctrination. Many people are raised by their parents to believe in God. Children listen to their parents, whether or not what they are saying is true or sensible. A lot of people just take their parents’ opinions about God (among other things), and use them rather than really thinking about their own ideas.

2. Fear of death. Many people don’t want to just die and disappear, as a lot of atheists believe. So they like this idea of a heaven, where you can go if you believe in God. I’ve even heard people say that they’re only religious for this reason.

3. Sadness at the death of others. Many people don’t want to believe that their loved one is simply gone forever. They want to think that in a few short years, they will too die and then be reunited with their dead relative.

4. To fit in. So many people see atheists being shunned, and want to fit into the crowd. So again, a lot of people just do the whole God thing because of one perk.

So really, it’s not that God can’t give evidence for his existence, because he’s omnipotent (in theory) and can do anything. It’s people not being able to support their idea of God.

What if I told you that there was a celestial teapot, orbiting the Earth? What if I told you that this teapot is so small, that we can’t prove it because our instruments aren’t strong enough? Well, I should rightly be thought mad. But if this teapot were the focus of an old storybook and was taught as fact every Sunday, then we would see a very different outlook on my little teapot.

138 Quinlan August 13, 2010 at 12:21 am

By the way – by your own logic, there’s enough evidence not to believe in God, as evidenced by Mr. Wexler and myself.

139 Darrin August 13, 2010 at 10:06 am

Wexler,
I just saw your question about what I said about morality. Now I can’t say that the following entirely applies to what LU did having Beck, but I would say it’s something that does go on. Often as believers (I understand you’re not, and frankly some of these are “family” (i.e. Christ’s church) issues, so we Christians should be discerning in what we openly discuss, advice which I sometimes fail to follow), we become very passionate about political and moral issues affecting the nation, and I’m not faulting that. However, it is easy in so doing to lose the primary focus which believers should have, trusting in God’s providence, looking toward eternity, relating with Christ, and resting in His sovereignty, truth and grace. So sometimes I think we may find a prominent advocate for morality and sponsor him, even though his views about Christ are way off the mark from historic Christianity. I think that is a mistake, because theological doctrine must be the foundation for all else, and is more important than our stance on particular issues.
On the marriage thing, I’ll just say that I don’t believe we have inherent rights, but rather that, since we were made by a Creator, any rights we have came from Him as well. Thus the rights would always be in accord with His decrees.

140 brian September 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

the old 32,000 denomination charge Roman Catholics make against Christians! Of course you know that they also group Mormons in with that ridiculous number. What a joke. Those holding to contradictory “infallible” extrabiblical revelation using the same arguements! How refreshing.

141 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

As one who atended Liberty for 4 years and who walked at the graduation ceremony where Glenn Beck spoke, I was honored to have him speak, and I support the decision to have him deliver the commencement address. All of you on here who are slandering LU are in the wrong for doing so. You have a reason to criticize Liberty over the Ergun Caner scandal; I’ll join you in that discussion. But slandering Liberty for asking Glenn Beck to speak at commencement is unwarranted, and some of those sorts of comments on here are a little bit offensive. Just trying to be honest and offer some input from the other side.

142 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Ridiculous! I went to Liberty for 4 years. I know better.

143 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Beck’s not even a good Mormon. Just because he says, I’m a Mormon, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is a fully informed, faithful, devout, practicing Mormon. He may be, of course. But do we have reason to assume such is the case? I don’t know. But if so, I’ll be happy to concede the point. Nevertheless, I would still support him being invited to deliver the commencement speech.

144 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm

The points you raise completely off the mark. Jesus sending the 70 is in no way parallel. The Mormon faith was anything but affirmed. Dr. Towns gave the right response.

145 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I don’t understand this reaction! Talk about blurring the lines between the church and an academic institution. Wow. The shame you cast is unwarranted.

146 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Thank you! I believe Paige Patterson was sitting on the same stage with Beck, and Patterson spoke briefly about the true biblical gospel before Beck ever spoke. Beck was not asked to deliver a religious, spiritual, theological, evangelistic, or whatever else kind of speech, but he was allowed the freedom to say what he wanted and to include religion if he so chose. You’re take on it is so much more balanced and understanding than the rest of what I’m reading on here. So thank you for that.

147 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

You cited stuff about chapel/convocation, not commencement addresses. Two different things.

148 Mark September 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Wesley,

I appreciate that you attended and graduated from Liberty. Thanks for your comment, however I’m confused on something. Where has Liberty been slandered specifically? Did I say something false in my post?

149 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

150 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

A much more open and balanced view, careful to make distinctions. Thank you! You ask good questions.

151 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

“Dr. Towns’ answer does not seem to care about the gospel, rather he seems to care more about American politics.”

That was uncalled for. You wouldn’t be in a position to know what Dr. Towns cares for.

152 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Liberty University is not a church. Ponder what that means.

153 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thank you!

154 William W. Wexler September 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Oh, Wesley. How can you be “honored” to have a hypocrite and someone who professes a heretical, false belief system that slanders your faith by using the same name?

You’re proud of this? If so, I would say that your faith is rather thin compared to your politics. In other words, you wasted your 4 years studying at Liberty U, you should have just sat in front of your TV and left it tuned into Fox News and the 700 Club.

-Wexler

155 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

A philosophy of education and a mission/aims position is quite different than a philosophy of commencement speaking. If Beck had been hired to teach at Liberty, that would be directly relevant to the passages you cited. But asking him to speak one time at graduation is substantially unrelated to what you quoted. So you’re missing it here.

156 Wesley September 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

ASH,

Thank you!

157 Dan Smith December 31, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Somehow I missed this when it happened. Not the event, for I am a graduate student at LU, but I missed your post. This has made me angry all over again. I more or less have to finish my MA in Theology from Liberty because I’m so far into it, but I promise you I won’t be walking across the stage to receive my diploma if they do a stunt like this in 2011.

158 Ben April 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I know this is post is a couple of years old, but I have to express my disappointment. We should be looking for the good and leading people to Christ though our example not trying to shun people. How can we change them if we do not interact with them or make them feel welcome. As C. S. Lewis once said “All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing; . . . the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute.”

159 Mark April 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hi Ben,

I have a question about your comment that we should be leading people to Christ. Would that be the Christ of Joseph Smith or the actual Christ written about in the New Testament?

160 Tom Garito April 18, 2012 at 11:41 pm

And Now the Mark Driscoll Controversy at Liberty University

The Bible tells us that sex between husband and wife and within the bonds of marriage is a beautiful and wonderful gift from God. That said, Christians today are living and walking in a minefield of sexual enticements in a sex obsessed culture. Modesty and purity are being attacked from every side.

With the invite of “Christianized sex obsessed”, Mark Driscoll to Liberty University it seems that this once strong bastion of conservative Biblical thought is now simply attempting to keep up with and even surpass the worldliness of the world.

Even though Mark Driscoll may make a few valid points, his focus is far from the focus of Jesus. What about the millions who will be suffering for eternity for lack of hearing and responding to the Good News. In saner times that Good News was the focus of the education provided by Liberty University.

With Mormon Glenn Beck’s commencement teaching on “faith” and Mark Driscoll’s sex obsessed rantings, parents might want to re-consider sending their vulnerable children to the “safe” environment of “Christian” Liberty University. At least in a secular university you know what you are up against. At Liberty University, if your guard is down, wolves may be finding it easy pickings to take their prey.

Tom Garito
Father of a Liberty Graduate

161 Mark April 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

Tom,

Thanks for dropping by. I have my own issues with Driscoll though I believe he is a Christian brother. Beck, a Mormon, on the other hand I do not regard him as a Christian brother.

Now maybe it’s just me, but it seems that much less attention was given to Beck’s speech than Driscoll’s appearance. Soon after Beck’s commencement speech Falwell, Jr. was praising it as one of the best Liberty has had.

Color me confused.

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